First fall whale landed for Utqiaġvik
The Arctic Sounder
After the Anaġi Crew's flag went up over the captain's house earlier this week, people came from all over the community for a taste of fresh whale.
The crew, captained by Jacob Adams Sr. and his wife, Lucille, landed the 30-foot, 11-inch bowhead on Sunday, locals said.
Friends and family of the crew came down to the edge of town to help haul the animal out of the water. Once on land, they moved it to the processing site using a forklift. Then, helpers pulled out their knives to start the process of butchering the agvik.
Once divided, the pieces were taken back to crew members' homes where they were prepared for handout.
Inside the kitchens, the large chunks of skin, fat, meat and organs were cut up and dropped into large pots of boiling water. Once cooked, the uunaliq, chunks of body meat, heart and tongue were placed into individually-portioned bags.
After the processing was done, the crew led everyone in prayer and raised the flag over the captain's house, signaling it was time for handouts.
The line of people who came to share in the bounty stretched far beyond the house and buzzed with excitement about the first whale caught by an Utqiaġvik crew this season.