Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day 221: Let's be honest

I've had a few posts like this before, so let me once again put this out there - the following pictures are not for the delicate. Don't worry, I didn't loose a leg or something. This is a story...about a couple of seals. A couple of seals that woke up as seals, and ended up as seal jerky.

My friend Pierre informed me that some friends of his had shot a pair of seals and I could come watch the skinning if I wanted to. Which of course I did. Unfortunately I missed the first part because I went to some night lectures at UNIS (this was the night of the IPY opening). So all of my photos are significantly internal, we might say.

Pierre with some blubber:


After they take off all the meat and organs, the skin is left with a heavy layer of blubber. To get that blubber off, the skin is nailed to a piece of wood and hauled upright. Most of what I saw was of that long process.

Lifting the remarkably heavy skin:

Stretching one out a bit:

Starting to clean:

Pierre and a friend continue cleaning off bigger chunks of meat on theirs:

This guy does a good job:

Funny story...seal meat stinks really bad.

I didn't really get into it because I wasn't wearing the right clothes (ie things I didn't mind ruining) but the smell sticks to everything - its that special seal oil.

Once they clean the skins, they'll preserve them with salt for awhile, like so:

But until then, there's lots more of this:

After all that business was done, Pierre brought home some meat, which we are currently curing into seal jerky in our attic.



Hans Mundahl said...

Heh, you have seal jerky in your attic. That's funny :)

sam said...

what do the skins get used for once dried with the salt?

Laurel said...

It depends. In this case, I believe they were planning on using the skins to cover their snowmobile seats. The ones the students shoot are typical eaten (many are used as dog food) then the skins kept for personal use - I don't really know anyone who sells the skins.