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About Catch of the Day, Alaska Whale-Watching Tours

The captain at Catch of the Day, Dennis, and his wife, have more than 30 years sea experience. From the lush tropical shores of Hawaii to chilly forested shores of Alaska, your whale-watching tour will be thrilling adventure with Captain Dennis at the helm. Their knowledge comes from a life long love of the sea.

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About Your Captain

Captain Dennis started his career as a captain in Southeast Alaska in 1989. In 2000 he started spending his summers in Alaska and Winter months in the Hawaiian Islands. Captain Dennis owned and operated a Napali Coast whale watching and sightseeing company on the island of Kauai. He now lives full time in Southeast Alaska. Captain Dennis has over 30 years of whale watching and sightseeing tour experience, his wife, Crystal is an Alaskan Native who entertains and enlightens you with her wealth of Alaskan cultural knowledge.

About Local Wildlife

There is a lot of local wildlife in the area, many of which you may be fortunate enough to see. We have brown and black Bears, eagles, porcupines, ravens, land otters, squirrels, Sitka black tail deer. But the most exciting wildlife you will see are the whales on the whale watching tour. We have seen them for many years and still get a little thrill when the whales surface and display their glory and splendor.

History of Hoonah

Hoonah is a largely Tlingit community located on Chichagof Island and surrounded by the beautiful Tongrass National Forest. It is 30 miles west of Juneau, across the Alaskan Inside Passage. Hoonah is the only first-class city on Chichagof Island, the 109th-largest island in the world and the 5th-largest island in the U.S. At the 2020 census, the population was 931. In the summer the population can swell by several hundred, often to more than 1,300 people, depending on fishing, boating, hiking and hunting conditions. 

“Hoonah” is the approximate pronunciation of the Tlingit name Xunaa, which means “lee of the north wind”, which means, protected from the north wind. 

Fishing has been a primary occupation of the Hoonah residents for most of their history, but in recent years, tourism has become very important. In 2001 the ground breaking ceremony took place for the first private cruise ship destination in the United States, it was called Icy Strait Point. The community has robustly embraced tourism and now an average of 75 ships visit each year to bring visitors to this breathtaking location and experience Hoonah’s natural riches.
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Video Credit:  Huna Heritage

The Huna Tlingit People

The Huna Tlingit people have lived, for many hundreds of years, in the Southeast Alaska archipelago. As a people, they were forced, more than two centuries ago, from their village (today known as Glacier Bay) by advancing glaciers. Looking for a place to call home, they chose to permanently settle twenty miles to the south of their former home in Glacier Bay. This new settlement was originally referred to as Gaawt’ak.aan, or “village by the cliff.” Later, the name was changed to Xu.naa (Hoonah), which means “where the north wind doesn’t blow.” The Tlingits respected and understood the Hoonah eco-system and because of that, they harvested a bounty of resources from the sea and the forest.
In 1939, The Hoonah Indian Association was chartered as a Federally Recognized Tribe. Its membership consists of individuals that can trace their kinship through the material line. This clan is the basic social unit with the Tlingit society.

A Partial Timeline of Modern Hoonah History

Hoonah TV Show

Perhaps you have seen some of the beautiful scenery around Hoonah and didn’t even know it. The early seasons of the American docudrama-style reality television series, Alaskan Bush People was filmed on location near Hoonah, Alaska and Chichagof Island, although later seasons were filmed on location in Okanogan County, Washington. The series premiered on the Discovery Channel on May 6, 2014.

Alaskan Bush People TV Show
Alaskan Bush People TV Show

Photos by IMDB/Discovery Channel

The show centers around the Brown family who attempt to survive in the wilderness, detached from modern society. The Hoonah locals often jest that the bush people, portrayed in the show as ever-struggling to live off the land, could have simply called up the local pizza parlor or donut shop in Hoonah when they couldn’t find a meal in the wild.

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