Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, Horsefall Island (Near Bella Bella/Shearwater) –

This morning, Cody dropped Val, Connor, the dogs, and I off at the log dump before he went fishing. We hiked up the old logging skid road hoping to find Lake Alvin and some nice Rainbow Trout. We hiked for about an hour and half but kept running into overgrown logging trails. Bummer. Cody came back with one nice Rock Fish and one crab from the trap. When he picked us up at the log dump, Tanner had nearly perfected his high diving routine. It was 11AM and the tide was almost out. From the water to the top of the log dump was 22’ and he dove off after his stick without hesitation time and time again. We couldn’t believe it and all laughed and laughed at him. By the time we got done with lunch and ready to cruise, it was noon; perfect for a slack water exit of Watts Narrows. By the time we got out of the narrows and on plane, it was about 12:30. We throttled up to 23 knots and didn’t shut down until 130 miles later. We were at our anchorage by 6PM; not a bad day. Even though there were gale warnings out, the wind was at our backs and we had smooth sailing for the most part. We took just a bit of spray but never had to throttle back once.
Val had a lovely Crab Carbonara ready for dinner. Yum. After dinner, the boys and Tanner went off exploring/fishing. Val cleaned up the inside and I washed the salt spray off the boat. It was really warm today…it hit 78 but it felt a lot warmer. There hasn’t been any bugs, either….which is really nice. Alaska had a lot of little bugs.
We’re only 6 miles from Bella/Bella Shearwater. Tomorrow, we’ll stop and do some laundry, communications, fuel, water, etc. and then hopefully get a couple hours of cruising in. We need to be back by Sunday as Cody’s best bud, Andre’, is flying in for a visit. It’s hard to believe, but we’ll be back in South Dakota in three weeks. Officially, our summer will be over: major bummer. This one will go down as the best in history, so far, barring anything unexpected (knock on wood.)
How’s your summer going? Send me a note! I haven’t heard nearly enough from you lately.

Monday, July 27, Baker Inlet, Grenville Channel –

Val loves her new reel and I’m a bit jealous; it’s silky smooth. She got to give it a whirl yesterday. After we pulled up anchor on Dundas, we trolled for a bit. Sure enough, we couldn’t keep the Pinks off the line; constant action. Then, a bigger bite hit my pole. I could tell right away this one had some size. Val took over the pole and I netted a 9 lb. Coho. That was really fun; however, my cheapie dip net from Wal-Mart snapped in half in the process. We fished some more and another big bite hit my pole. This one felt bigger again. We weren’t sure how we were going to land it with no net. When we got to see it, we could tell it wasn’t a Salmon. It was a Halibut. I’ve never caught a Halibut trolling before. It wasn’t very big for a Halibut but sure made for adrenaline pumping during the fight. I gaffed him and brought him on board. It wasn’t a bad morning of fishing; although I wish we could have caught less Pinks and more Cohos.
A little after noon, we made the 20 mile run into Prince Rupert, cleared customs, filled with water, fuel, and grabbed some lunch and groceries. Then we went to the fuel dock, filled up, found a new semi-cheapie dip net, and set sail again about 6PM.
The forecast is for 30 mph North winds for the next two days. We had hoped to take the more Western passage back home but with the forecast, we opted for the narrower Grenville Channel again. We cruised a couple of hours until Baker Inlet. We had to pass through Watts Narrows to get in. It was deep but very narrow with trees encroaching from both sides. As we entered we were faced with a lot of current from the dropping tide. At times, I had to give it about ¾ throttle to keep steerage. I’m very glad that it was deep enough…I had memories of the dinghy prop bashing on the rocks powering up the creeks. Once we made it through the narrows, the bay opened up into a gorgeous flat water anchorage. We dropped the hook and settle in for the evening. Cody went fishing but didn’t catch anything worth keeping…thankfully; I’ve cleaned enough fish for the day.
This morning, we woke up to another sunny, warm day. I can hardly believe the forecast for this area is for gale force winds. We’ll poke our nose out and give it a try but we need to wait for a bit more slack tide to get out of Watts Narrows. There’s an old logging skid road we’re going to explore now. By the time we get back, the tide should be ready for us…I hope.
Have a great day!