A September Catch
Quvan Crew's Whale - September 25 2006

Well, I don’t have any stats on the size or the sex, but here are some pictures of the Quvan Crew’s whale.

Captain is Herman Ahsoak. Co-captain is Jonas Ahsoak.

The whale gave itself to the crew this morning, which is the first day of the fall whaling season.

Other successful whaling crews were North Slope Borough Mayor Edward Itta’s crew, Saggan Crew, and City of Barrow Mayor Nate Olemaun’s crew, Olemaun Crew.

Quvan Crew member Jonas Ahsoak gets to work at butchering the bowhead whale. Crews set out very early in the morning today as it is the first day of the fall whaling season, and indeed, the early bird got the worm(s).

Quvan Crew co-captain Jonas Ahsoak works fast to butcher the bowhead whale.

Kunneak Neakok assists in butchering the Quvan Crew’s bowhead whale. Other workers in the background are pulling slabs of the maktak, which is the skin and the fat of the whale. In keeping with tradition, Neakok will receive a share of the whale for assisting with the butchering.

Quvan Crew flag: When a whaling crew is successful, they will bring their boat next to the whale while butchering and fly their crew’s flag. Here, the Quvan Crew’s flag is proudly flying near the butchering site.

Quvan Crew’s whale: Workers are quick to butcher the bowhead whale harvested by Quvan Crew. During the fall whaling season, the whales are brought to shore and then onto the old runway for butchering. This old runway is located approximately 5 miles from town. This site is selected because the smell of the whale attracts the ever alert polar bear, and the further away from town, the better.

Left to Right: Butcher Ray Kious, Quvan Crew Captain Herman Ahsoak, Co-Captain Jonas Ahsoak and his wife Heidi Ahsoak enjoy some hot soup while taking a break from butching Quvan Crew’s whale.

Photos by Joseph Napaaqtuq Sage