End of May

May 27

Walked before the crew showed up. Found an eyeglass bungee head holder, a zip tie and a washer nut along the road. A gorgeous morning of blue skies and calm winds. The crew wanted to stay out an extra half hour today, which was great by me. I got to the fishing hole, and fished all morning and into the afternoon using Dave’s method. About 115 pm I switched back to a herring behind a flasher and got a fish about 145 pm. Same as most of the others – 29 to 30 inches.

May 28

Didn’t sleep well after too much food at a beach barbecue at B. Crew was right on time and a flat calm morning of fog and mist. I dropped the crew off and headed to the fishing hole. I had the spot to myself most of the day. A couple boats came in at different times and soon left. I got a salmon on about noon, and it made several runs and took lots of drag. I finally got it to the boat had it half way in the net, and it slipped out. Then it spit the hook, but I think it was undersized so didn’t feel bad.  About 2 the rod went off without pause, indicating a good fish. I gunned the engine to set the hook, then grabbed the rod. I had to reel hard to keep up with the fish, and was thinking it was another smaller fish. It soon tired and was under the boat. I reeled up the line from under the boat. The flasher broke the surface and I still couldn’t see the fish but had the net at the ready. When I did see it, I was surprised at how big it was, and was relieved to get it in the net. I conked the fish, broke a gill, and put the fish head down in a bucket of water. Another great day. I ran back to the crew site cove, anchored up, and cleaned the fish. Only one more day on the job, and I’m sad for that but excited about becoming a better king salmon fishermen and starting a new business and enjoying a skiff that works so well.

May 29

Last day on the job. Another bluebird day. No salmon today. Wind drove me out of my spot. I tried fishing at the crew drop cove, got hung up on the bottom a couple times, and the last time, the top of my brand new rod came off and went all the way down to the kelp my spoon was snagged on and after several tries trying to drive up to it in the boat then run out and free the snag, the line broke, and there went the end of my rod. I did get a ling cod in the crew cove. Great group of guys to work for and hope to work for them again.

May 30

Up early to move the toyo heater. I put it in, but now realize I needed to move it if I wanted to put in another futon or couch so more than one person can sleep here without it being on the floor. I considered different spots for it all week, and decided to stuff it in the corner of the bathroom under the 7 gallon on-demand heater. The wall is one side of the heater, the toilet on the other, and the sink in front of it. So it will always be warm when you step out of the shower. Took me the morning to unhook it from the current spot, remove the exhaust and fuel line, but new holes in the inner and outer walls, and reinstall. Another epiphany: just because an exhaust is round, the hole it goes through can be a rectangle, as long as the cowling covers the rectangle. Took me no time to trace the round exhaust pipe, put straight lines along four sides of the circle, then cut the square out with ease with the cutting wheel on the grinder. Still used the hole saws on the drywall inside. Took my time to properly flare the copper tubing, put dope on the threads at the unions and when I hooked it all up, no leaks. Then on to oil change for the outboard. What should have been an hour job turned in to all afternoon when I didn’t have this tool or that and had to run to town. Finally hooked up with the welder and got the steel window frames for the container I don’t actually need right now and painting them tonight to keep them from rusting.

May 31

Cleaned up the place and got ready to leave on the evening plane. B took me to the airport, and the flight got cancelled due to fog. Better safe than sorry. Lots of air accidents in May this year. Met a coworker of a friend in Juneau and gave her a ride back to her lodging. Within an hour of the cancellation we were back out fishing near town. Had what seemed like a nice one on, and it broke off.

June 1

Left on the morning plane and back in Juneau in 2 hours including a stop in Sitka. Immediately went to work vac packing fish I’d wrapped in plastic and paper. I’d cut the king salmon into 2 or 3 pieces in Craig, and now cut these into steaks first with an electric skill saw through the top, and finished the cut through with a hand meat saw. Then took fish to Brian down the street who  hired me for the boat work, and on to Samuels with fish and to check in on his month and scouts and life in general. Good to be home. Lawn needs a shave and gotta pick some rhubarb. The rhubarb I transplanted has taken hold as well. Gotta get a better mattress in Craig.

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