Alaska 2014

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}.  Comments added AFTER coming back to San Jose are in [square brackets].

Report 33. Day 33. Fri, June 6. Halibut Fishing Trip Out of Homer

We wake up to overcast skies at 5:00 am. But closer checking shows blue sky with scattered clouds.

We grab some coffee and breakfast, then head onto the spit. We check in with Inlet Charters, and they tell us where to park {There is huge line of men waiting to get their licenses, etc so we are very glad we did all that yesterday. Way to go Jerry.}. We park and walk down a super long, steep ramp to get down to the dock and then to our boat, the Dutch Treat. I see Jerry, heading for a rest room off the boat, back up the ramp, and I follow him. When I get done, and come ambling down the ramp again, Sharon tells me to hurry up, they're all waiting for me. {The caaptain is eager to go and says "where is that guy?" it reminds me of the time I am at the ramp to get on the plane which is in the final boarding, the attendant says to me "We can't wait for your husband", after I tell her he got held up in Security. I say, "he's on his way" and look down the concourse to see him slowly walking toward me. I didn't know until later that he had stopped to buy a paper. I shout to him "Hurry" and he increases his pace somewhat. "No", I say, "Run!" and he does. And again, today, I see Bob stop at the top of the ramp to take pictures and yell at him "Run" so he hurries down to us.}

Captain Peter comes out, gives his spiel including several no-no's. We head out as deckhand Troy sets up all the gear for when we do start.

Again I forget my voice recorder, so I'm just gonna go with photos and explanatons.

Look to the left. Look to the right. Boats, boats, boats.

Our little boat, the Dutch Treat. An eagle can perch anywhere it wants to.

Shirley and I keeping warm in the cold morning breeze. {It takes us quite a while, going at top speed to get to the fishing place Peter has picked out. We found out that the boat captains keep these places to themselves if they are good for fish. A little secret to increase their chances. Anyway, he tells us we are going about 20 miles out from Cook Inlet. When we get close, Troy starts baiting the hooks, I take a moment to use the "head" which turned out to be a good thing because from that point on, we never stop catching fish.}

Sharon hooks one immediately. Jerry does too.

Troy, cutting up bait. Sharon hooks another one. She's jazzed.

Sharon and Jerry hook one, but sometimes they just hook each other's bait and hook. {The pulling in of the fish takes a lot of strength. They fight a lot more than I thought they would. Troy tells us they are about 150 feet down and we let the bait down until it hits the floor and then just pull up a little. I seem to get a bite every time I let my line down. Captain Peter finally takes pity on me and lets me put my fishing pole into one of those pipes you can see sticking out of the rail. He had said not to use those but can see me struggling to manange both the pole and reel in the fish. Using that feature, I put my pole into the holder and can concentrate on just reeling. You shout "fish on" when you hook one and then "fish up" when you see the fish near the surfce. Then Troy comes over and pulls the fish in the final distance and measures your fish. You are allowed to keep 2 fish, one of which has to be 29 inches or smaller and the next one can be as big as you want. Troy has us each get our smaller fish and then keep fishing until you get one you like the size. He will ask me "do you still have the stamina to keep fishing?" When I say "yes", he then throws the fish back and says "you'll get a bigger one than this". I don't think I ever do and finally say "let me keep this one". You can keep fishing after that but can't keep any other fish you catch, even if it were a really big one. But we are having great fun and all catch our limits by 10:30. Since it was an "all-day" charter, the captain takes us on more of a sight-seeing trip where we see nesting birds and "rafts" of sea otters.}

We see a so-called party fishing boat where way too many people fish at the same time {We were happy that Jerry booked us on a charter that only has 6 fishers on the boat. The other couple come here all the time from Kentucky to halibut fish.}. What is this, a castle tower? I don't recall even taking this shot.

We finish up, and Troy prepares our fish for the camera. You will notice that none of them weighs a hundred pounds {We caught 8 total, our limit of 2 each,but he just put up the biggest for the picture.}. I think they looked at our approximate age, and kept us fishing for the smaller halibut. {They are each about 20 pounds each with 10 pounds of filets each. Still the biggest fish I've ever caught.}Troy is a whiz at filetting.

Sharon shows off her biggest one.

Jerry rides inside the cabin, for warmth, doncha know? Because we finished getting our limit early, Captain Peter takes us by a huge bird colony.

We make it back to the harbor, and Peter points out a couple of boats that were featured on a popular TV show, about catching crabs in Alaska waters. {"Deadliest Catch".}

{We take our fish filets to a company that flash-freezes them and ships them to your house when you are home to receive them. Jerry is happy that halibut filets are selling for $22 a pound. Of course, who knows how much it works out to for the fish we take home. Have to figure in the "fun factor"} Captain Peter has told us about a good dinner restaurant called Cups, and we decide to try it. Check out the artwork on the corner, incorporating various bits of container-related items, such as cup parts, and the closeup.

More in the window, or innuendo.

After dinner, we take a little tour around the area, and come up with another wonderful moose.

We go out to Anchor Point, which is supposed to have a gathering of Bald Eagles, and this proves to be true. This beach is famous for having tractors that haul the boats out to the water when the tide is out and hauling them back in after the people are done fishing. They also throw out the guts and unusable parts of the fish after fileting them out. This is why the eagles are here, for the fish parts left on the beach. There used to be this many eagles on the Spit because a women who had a shop there fed them. After she died, they passed a law that said no one could feed the eagles on the Spit so you don't see so many there but they all come here. It is great to see them with so many juveniles and adults togeher. We also saw many in the field where this moose was, mainly adults with babies.}

Heading for home, we get still another moose. Love you meeses to pieces.

That's it for the day and the night.

Good night all,
Bob and Sharon

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