dave & marian beck
Marian started fishing with her Dad at the age of 10 as the only deckhand. She was not really a fast fish-picker, to small to see out of the net well, so she was relegated to running the boat from the flying bridge, which may have contributed to her career in boat operating.
Dave and Marian were married in 1976 and in 1978 they bought a slow wooden boat without a reel. A neighbor gave them a small power roller and several times a day, they pulled 900 feet of gillnet by hand.
A few years later, they invested in a reel. In 1987 they built a proper gillnet boat and Dave, although from Iowa, became a seriously great fisherman! Marian now stays at home and takes care of the business, buying fish to keep the Saltry's larder full, as well as operating the Kachemak Bay Ferry, the Danny J.
greg and weatherly bates
Greg and Weatherly Bates operate Alaska Shellfish Farms, growing oysters and mussels in Halibut Cove. Shellfish farming allows them to sustain a year-round living in their remote Alaskan home and also gives them the opportunity to work with their children. When asked about their lifestyle here in the Cove Weatherly shares,
“On any day we can be seen at our oyster nursery with our children Rockwell and Vera. Rockwell's favorite activity is to collect ‘creatures’ from the oyster nursery and bring them to the Salty touch tank to share with others.”
They operated a 9 acre shellfish lease in Halibut Cove and are currently working on producing rope grown mussels and oysters. It takes three to four years to grow a Kachemak Bay oyster and 18-24 months to grow Kachemak Bay mussels.
marvin & annette bellamy
Marvin grew up on a homestead in Homer and has fished his whole life. Annette was raised in Seattle, occasionally trout fishing on family camping trips. Marvin and Annette have fished together since 1973. It was just the two of them for the first 15 years on a small wooden boat.
Through the years they have fished for crab and gray cod with pots, salmon with gillnets and seine, and longlined for halibut and sable fish.
Today, from their fiberglass combination boat, the F/V Kelsey, they gill net for salmon and longline for halibut. Annette says, "All the years of fishing have given me great inspiration in my art work!"
coral & kayla ricketts
Coral Ricketts was born in 1954 and homesteaded in Clam Gulch where her father fished on beach sites. As a toddler, Coral would accompany her father fishing, but was kept out of the way by being placed in a Blazo box, (used for transporting five gallon cans of white gas for cooking stoves). In 1956 they homesteaded at the head of Seldovia Bay.
Coral moved to Halibut cove with her father in 1959 and began commercial fishing at 5 years old. By the time she was 8 she was a paid deck hand and fished both the winter and summer king crab seasons. At that time, fishermen could only deliver 200 king crab per week at 8 cents per pound, which Coral and her father did from their 35 foot long Kodiak seiner called the Dew Drop. At the age of 11, Coral took her first gillnetting trip up the inlet with her father to fish for salmon.
Coral continued fishing through the years until she was 6 months pregnant with Kayla, whom she gave birth to in 1990. She took only one year off and in 1992 took over salmon fishing up Cook Inlet on the Grey Beard, her father's 37 foot combination boat. Being a single parent, 1998 was her last season on the Grey Beard, buying out set net sites on the east end of Ismailof Island in Halibut Cove. Kayla first went up the inlet at 2 years old, sitting in her car seat that was bungeed to the bulkhead. Kayla has fished the set net sites since she was 8 years old and became a paid deckhand at age 14.
When Coral was asked about why she continues to live in Halibut Cove she said, "I mean, look at it it. The place is beautiful. My ancestors were here. This is my home."