Ray’s Visits Fish & Family Seafoods in Sitka, Alaska

Ray’s has been sourcing and serving fresh, sustainably caught Northwest seafood directly from fishermen and women for decades. But no matter how long we do this we can never get enough knowledge about where our fish comes from and the people behind it. We have great respect for the men, women and families that have fished for generations, sometimes in treacherous conditions, to make a living and provide people with the freshest seafood available.

This love for connection and knowledge recently led our team to the crisp, cool waters of Sitka, Alaska to visit with some of our suppliers. On our first day we were welcomed with open arms by Lexi of Fish & Family Seafoods with a private dinner on Bamdoroshni Island (big thanks to Captain Gary of Sitka Adventures for ferrying us back and forth!). She immediately made us feel like part of her family and we enjoyed a beautiful dinner withLexi, her two children, her mother, mother-in-law and sister-in-law, with ingredients fresh from their local waters like kelp salsa and pickled beach asparagus (sea beans). We missed her husband and business partner at Fish & Family, Adam, who was out halibut fishing while we were in town.

Fish & Family Seafoods is a wild salmon purveyor and we were thrilled to be able to visit them at their home base to break bread, learn about their family, their history, their process, visit their fishing boat Myriad, and experience a bit more of what life is like for a fishing family with two small children. Hint: it’s not always easy. Lexi and the kids join her husband Adam and their two crew on salmon fishing trips aboard the Myriad throughout the summer. In the fall they join Lexi’s extended family to longline for halibut and black cod. Whatever the season, their lives involve lots of chasing both kids and fish!

We were also lucky to spend time with our partners and friends at Pacific Seafood who chartered a fishing boat with Big Blue Charters and took us out for a long day on the beautiful waters of Sitka Sound. We also toured Sitka Sound Seafoods to learn more about how they process their salmon, and we hosted a dinner where we served one of their gorgeous White King Salmon!

The trip also allowed us to explore Sitka, a place in Alaska none of us had been before. We took in a hike up Mt. Verstovia, a boat trip to Goddard Hot Springs, dinner at the Channel Club with some amazing King Crab and Champagne, as well as a beautiful dinner at Ludvig’s Bistro!

It was a packed trip and we loved every second of it. The people of Sitka are salt of the earth, good, kind people. They share their love of the land with everyone who passes through and we felt that kindness and hospitality radiate throughout our four days there.

You may not be able to hop a flight to Sitka anytime soon but you can taste the freshness of their wild salmon and the thoughtfulness with which it is caught and handled at Ray’s every day of the week.

Nic’s Adventures in Nepal!

Our adventurous Boathouse Manager Nic Reinig is an avid alpine climber and enjoys being in the mountains as much as possible when he isn’t here at Ray’s.

Nic has had the opportunity to climb and travel in Nepal in the past, but in 2018 his adventures took him on the climbing trip of a lifetime.

Nic and his partner, Elizabeth were invited to climb an uncharted peak in Northwest Nepal. It’s notoriously difficult to obtain a permit for unclimbed peaks, but his friend and climbing partner owns a Himalayan Guide Service, which allowed them to travel to the remote area.

This climb was truly the climb of a lifetime because the area in Northwest Nepal had previously prohibited ecotourism and very few westerners have been able to explore the area. Nic and Elizabeth were some of the first Americans to set foot on the isolated mountains; a climber’s paradise.

The 45-day expedition started in Kathmandu where they flew to Simikot, a village with the closest airstrip to the entrance of the valley that led to the mountains. From Simikot it took nearly two-weeks to hike through the Limi Valley, a distance of around 100-miles.

Accompanying their team of climbers were seven Sherpa guides as well as 11 mules to help carry food and supplies. Upon reaching the peak, Nic and the team established a base camp and scouted a route. After acclimating to the elevation, they pushed to higher ground and made camp where they would then attempt their summit.

Unfortunately, the group had to turn around at 17,400-feet due to waist-deep snow and dangerous avalanche conditions. The group of climbers certainly gave it their best efforts and were proud to accomplish what they already completed, not to mention enjoying the gorgeous sites of the Himalayas.

Any first ascent of an unexplored Himalayan peak has a very low chance of success and although the summit was the goal, the trip itself was an experience they will never forget!

With modern day Himalayan climbing, there are few places left in the world that are still unexplored. Nic and his group had the very lucky experience of such a grand adventure in 2018 and they look forward to what’s to come in 2019!

We’re so proud of you, Nic for reaching and pursuing your goals! Here’s to more adventures for everyone in the new year!