Owners Meeting Campfire
10/15/2011, Prevost Harbor San Juans
After dinner Brian built a campfire and we all shared its warmth.
Owners Meeting Dinner
10/15/2011, Prevost Harbor San Juans
Each year we have all of owners at NW Explorations have an Owner's Meeting and Cruise. This year we went to Prevost Harbor in the San Juans. Such a wonderful group of friends! We had pot luck dinner on the dock at Prevost Harbor Marine Park.
Don / Warm
08/18/2011, Grace Harbour Desolation Sound
We stopped in Grace Harbour in Desolation Sound and I used my shrimp pot puller and shrimp pot to catch these ten delicious spotted shrimp. (Count 'em!) I fixed a shrimp cocktail for the young Brit on Mystic Eagle who helped me catch them. He got up with me at 6:30 am to go out and pull up the pot with me. That makes 11 shrimp so far. Works out to be about $90 a piece. Yikes!
08/16/2011, Johnstone Strait
Coming down Johnstone Strait , we saw a male and female ORCA cross our bow.
08/15/2011, Port McNeil, BC
We slept in a bit and the Debbie and Barb headed over to the ferry to visit U'mista, the cultural center at Alert Bay. See: http://www.umista.org/ U'mista is a term of the Kwakwaka'wakw people that means returning home after being taken in a raid. In the early part of the 20th century, the Kwakwaka'wakw people had all of their cultural ikons taken by the BC gov't when they held an illegal potlatch. Potlatches had been banned by the government. The government raided the potlatch, took all of the goods meant for distribution, and sold them to collectors and museums. The cultural center at U'Mista has sought the return of all of these masks and other cultural objects that were taken. Debbie and Barb had an awesome time visiting the center.
Meanwhile, the manly men took it upon themselves to ensure the careful cleaning of all of the clothing from the boat, 10 days worth of dirty clothes, at the local laundry. Manly Men can do it all!! First, they acquired $25 dollars worth of Loonies to use in the machines. Then, they lugged all of the heavy load up to the Laundromat. There was a huge line that challenged their patience and good cheer. But, being Manly Men, they worked hard, sweat dropping from their brows, and persevered. Of course, the young lady who ran the Laundromat pointed out that this was something women have been doing since the dawn of time, without breaking a sweat.
The Manly Men returned to boat exhausted from their labor but victorious. They immediately had a beer and took a nap.
Debbie and Barb returned and found them fast asleep, but noticing the clean clothing, neatly put away, were encouraged about their futures with these awesome guys.
To celebrate they all went out to dinner at Gus's, another local restaurant. Afterwards, they walked over to the grocery store and had ice cream at the ice cream fountain. After all, it was national ice cream day.
On returning to the boat, they viewed "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." Throughout the movie, Barb and Debbie commented several times about how Russell Crowe reminded them of their Manly Men. Right! Well, I am writing this blog so I can dream, can't I?
The next morning was shopping day for me and Debbie. We will be continuing on to Bellingham. We filled the boat with more good food. Then Debbie and Barb went souvenir shopping while the Manly Men sought out the important provisions - beer, wine, and fishing tackle. The succeeded on all counts and returned to the boat to set up the sun screens so the ladies would not be too warm on their return. That taken care of, the Manly Men lay down for a nap.
The Manly Men next fixed a salmon dinner on more planks from Katie. It was an awesome meal. The evening concluded by watching part of the Horatio Hornblower series on DVD.
Tomorrow, Barb and Dave depart and Debbie and Don continue the trip to Bellingham.
To Port McNeil
Don/rainy and stormy
Departure was at 5:30, in the dark. We needed to get around Cape Caution and across Queen Charlotte Sound, another potentially rough stretch. The winds were up to about 13 knots with waves about 2 feet, nothing really difficult, but enough to keep us listening to the weather reports on the VHF weather channel 7.
Cape Caution is where Vancouver ran his boat, Discovery, aground and had to spend time with repair. We saw 5-10 humpbacks in this area today. They were all over the place!
Once we got around Cape Caution, things smoothed out a bit and we traveled to the Walker Island Group, the place where Katie and I spent two days last year fishing. It is a beautiful place. Very wild. Debbie took us through the narrow entrance and out the even narrower exit perfectly. Then we traveled to Port McNeil, a northern marina where we planned a lay day and a place with an airport. Barb and Dave would be leaving us here, needing to get home.
We took on fuel, found a place to tie up, and went ashore for some restaurant food. We had an early dinner at Sportsman's Bar and Grill. It sure tasted good!!!! We walked around a bit, exploring the small town. We came back to the boat and made plans for the next day.
Don, the Salmonator, with salmon
Dave, the Salmonator, with salmon
don/Nice and sunny
08/12/2011, Hurricane Anchorage.
Dave and I were up early at 6 am to depart for salmon fishing at the entrance to Hurricane Anchorage, what looked to be an outstanding spot for migrating salmon. Dave and I went in Rubber Ducky and Jordan, Brian, and Josh went in Deception's dinghy. We cruised slowly out to the entrance and trolled south, along the shore, looking for birds and herring. The other boat had a nice silver on but lost it. We picked one up as well and landed it. Every time we went by a spot where herring were dimpling the water we had hits. Dave and I kept 4 nice ones, 2 silvers and 2 pinks and let another go. One of the silvers went 10-12 pounds and jumped a number of times. It was a frantic hour of action. Finally, at 8:15, we had to return back to the boat since we had planned a 10 am departure and there were fish to clean. Once he saw all the fish we brought back, Brian Sr. on Deception declared a salmon fest potluck aboard his boat that night in Fury Cove. We cleaned fish and got underway. Dave and I were dubbed the Salmonators by everyone else.
We departed and went immediately through Spitfire Passage, the most narrow passage we have ever encountered. We had about 4 feet on each side of the boat. Everyone sucked in their breaths and we squeezed through. Then we had about a 5-hour cruise to Fury Cove, our destination.
We arrived and rafted alongside Deception. Dave and Mark, the new owner of Fine Press Publications, went out fishing and caught more salmon but released them since we already had a ton. Barb and Debbie went ashore with Emo and explored the middens, the large white beaches made of clam shells discarded by the indigenous people over thousands of years.
The salmon fest was delicious. Carol cooked hers two different ways and we cooked ours a third, on planks that our daughter Katie had given us for Christmas. Thanks, Katie!!!! The planks were soaked in water first. They gave off smoke and flavored the salmon. It was incredibly tasty! Everyone loved our smoked salmon. They were the hit of the dinner. We need to do that again.
A pod of dolphins followed us for an hour, playing in the pressure wave of the bow of our boat.