Most people know St. Paul Island from “The Deadliest Catch”  as being one of the two harbors that the crab fishermen go to.  It is not in the middle of nowhere, but you can see nowhere from there.

St Paul Island is in the middle of the Bering Sea, a three hour plane trip from Anchorage Alaska.  St. Paul has a population of a little over 500 people, with one school (K-12), one bar, one store, and one church (Russian Orthodox).  Its highest point is 655 feet,  but mostly it is flat, It is thought that this former volcanic island was once part of the land bridge that early American’s migrated across 10,000 years ago.  It is located 300 miles from the west coast of Alaska and 500 miles west of Siberia, 250 miles north of the Aleutian Islands.

It is a part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, and the seabird cliffs attract serious bird watchers for miles around.  In addition to being a breeding ground for over half a million seals,  it has millions of birds  that come here to next in its protected cliffs.

The population is primarily Aleut, in fact the largest Aleut population in the world, who originally were forced into slavery by the Russians to harvest fur seals.  The sea provides the main source of income, as crab and halibut are abundant.

To this day the people still worship in the Russian Orthodox Church . The church,  built in 1905 after the previous one burned,  contains many Jewish artifacts –many of the fur traders were Russian orthodox “converts” sent to the Bering Sea, were in fact Jews.

Bird watchers come here to see rare birds like the Laysan Albatross, Gray-tailed Tattler, Siberian Rubythroat, and my favorite, the Puffins.

Seals here are abundant- and these photos are of young “adolescent” seals, not yet old enough to have a mate and command a harem (those are 2 ton seals called ‘Beachmasters.”) These young seals bark like dogs, and while they are slow to walk – their neck can rapidly jump out and give an unwary person a dangerous bite. They are faster than a rattle snake.

If  you come here be prepared to stay in a modified trailer, all put together with a bathroom down the hall.

The people were honoring us for helping them put together their health care center,  a beautiful, modern complex that would be the envy of any small community. Complete with x-ray, physicians who rotate here, and a friendly staff. We were treated royally.

They shot a reindeer for us,  so we had fresh reindeer bbq, as well as halibut that was prepared 20 different ways (you had try them all).  Fresh meat and fresh fish make for meals that cannot be duplicated even at Le Bernidine in NYC.