May 10

The transmission got hot again yesterday. And of course, when I was at the furthest point in Icy Strait from either shore and in the one area with no cell coverage between Cross Sound and Juneau. I limped into Willoughby Cove along Lemesuire Is, and with the tide running full bore, I had to kill the engine because it the tranny would not come out of gear when hot. I changed the fluid, diagnosed the problem as best I could, and moved on to Pinta Cove to anchor for the night. Two other boats running with me also had problems. One ran to Hoonah and one anchored next to me. I helped him to try to fix his autopilot problem after a pot of coffee and lots of talk about being direct marketers. My friend freezes his fish (after heading and dressing them) at sea, and then sells his fish through distributers. We both occupy niche markets of our own making, and have similar problems of seasonal cash flow, marketing costs, transportation logistics, and of course, catching salmon!!

We had no luck fixing his autopilot, so he’s headed to town and I’m going to fish my way to town. On our way out of the anchorage, we were treated to a humpback whale jumping out of the water (aka breaching) several times. This area around Point Adolphus is a regular haunt for a large number of humpbacks, and it can be hard to sleep on anchor there at times because of the constant spouting of the whales. I sleep at the boat’s waterline in the forecastle, and the way sound travels over water, it can seem like the whales are spouting or breaching right next to your head when in fact they’re hundreds of yards or more away.
Mark Stopha
F/V Dutch Master
Alaska Wild Salmon Co
4455 N Douglas Hwy
Juneau, Alaska 99801

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