Spring trip to Craig

Friday, April 28

Left Juneau about 830 am with Kurt. Forecast for northerly winds about 10 kts for the next 5 days or more. We had flat seas for 12 hours. Saw about 3 humpback whales and some Dall’s porpoise til we got down near 5 finger lighthouse, where there perhaps 6  whales feeding in the area. Anchored in Cleveland Passage about 830 pm. Set the crab pot in about 40’ of water. Kurt made smoked black cod and rice with quinoa for dinner.

Saturday, April 29

Left anchorage about 5:30am. A northerly chop rocked us gently starting about midnight. Crabpot held 2 sublegal king crab (we were fishing for dungeness crab). We stopped in Petersburg. Eric brought Paul to the Salty Pantry and we had lunch. One of the best places in the region to eat. Then we got fuel – 25 gallons for 21 hours of running. ~ 1.2 gallons per hour. Still hard to believe sometimes. We went over 100 miles on 25 gallons. We ran the Wrangell Narrows and only passed a couple boats the whole way. Actually, we’ve only passed a few boats the whole trip. We ran across Sumner Strait and anchored in Red Bay. I had my left over sandwich for dinner.

Sunday, April 30

Left Anchorage about 6 pm. Fished Port Protection for about an hour and a half with about 3 other boats and no fish caught nor seen. Headed down El Capitan Passage. Sea otters to count by the dozen. Only passed one boat and a tiny tug with a tiny barge all the way down to the entrance to Salt Lake Bay, where we anchored just before 8 oclock. We’ll fish at St. Philips tomorrow, where I’ve caught 5 kings in the past. Had pizza for dinner and listened to the Kraken beat the Avalanche 2 to 1 for their first playoff series win.

Monday, May 1

Anchored at the entrance to Salt Lake Bay. Fished St Philips, then Cruz Pass, for no fish. Fueled at the dock on False Island, then Brian met us with Howard’s truck to offload his shelves and barbecue and Ellen’s food. Tied up at the launch ramp float, then Brian took us to the container. We pumped up the tire on the truck, and opened up the container. All good in the container, except I found out later the wall by the middle window is soft from moisture on the inside. Kurt dropped me off at the boat, then drove over to the harbor while I took the boat over. We stopped at the store for alcohol and some food supplies, and went to the harbor master office to register the tug for harbor fees and Kurt stopped for some hootchies, etc at Log Cabin store. The clerk was a classmate of Mellissa.

Tuesday, May 2

Left the harbor about 5 am and arrived Santa Cruz about 740 am.   Got the gear out fishing about 8 am. Caught a nice king on the hootchie Kurt had bought about 10 am. Doug Rholdes was also out fishing alone and caught a king at 10 am. One other boat came in an mooched at the outer rock at high tide. No body caught any more fish that we know of here. We fished til high tide, then anchored behind the island at the entrance to the bay and took a nap about 1. We started fishing again at 3 pm to fish the flood tide again. Saw our first black  vbear of the trip later in the afternoon on the beach by where we had anchored. No fish by 730, so we headed to the back of the bay to find as safe a spot as we could with the wind now and if it changed overnight. I saved the entrails of the king and baited the crab pot with it near where we anchored. We listened to the Kraken – Dallas hockey game that came on after we listened to the Yankees game for Kurt. Seattle scored 4 goals in the first period, and Dallas 2. Dallas scored two more in the 3rd period, and the same Dallas player scored all four goals. Kraken won in overtime. Love the Sirius-XM satellite radio.

Wed May 3

Started fishing about 6 am. Got a nice king at 815 at about same spot as yesterday. No other boats present. At high tide, we headed to Tranquil and fished that for an hour or two, and no fish and nobody else fishing. Returned to find Brian and Ellen’s dock in, so tied up there, and packed the fish home. Kurt butchered the fish and I vac packed. We had collars and half a tail for dinner and it was excellent, of course. Then came back over to Brian and Ellen’s for a drink too many.

Thur May 4

Kurt left on Seaplanes at 9 am. Beautiful sunny day. I changed the gear oil, and getting the hang of doing both the oil and gear oil now.

Friday, May 5

Fished Point Tranquil starting at low tide. Might have had a strike at the cross but no fish on there when I got to the rod. I stopped in to talke with Ellen, Melissa and her friend from Anchorage, who are down for the weekend to send up a plane in parts from Fred on the barge to Anchorage, and do some bear hunting and fishing.

Saturday, May 6

Desperate searches for a welder finally turned up a friend of Steven P. Welder is stopping by after Little League today to assess the job, and hopefully he can get the steel window frames welded in tomorrow. He said to take out one window to start in case we can’t get them all done in one day. So, I took apart the inner window framing and trim from all three windows. Then took to cutting out just the middle window on the outside so I could remove it in the morning. If this frame looks like it’s going in just fine when Emmett starts, I can work on cutting out the other windows while he’s welding. Funny thing yesterday was when Emmett asked where I got the steel window cases and told him I’d had them welded by Tyler a few years agod, he said he was the one who welded them as he was working there then!

Sunday, May 7

Took out the middle window and measured it against the window and casing I just took out- looks like it good fit. Emmett showed up at 930 and got started.   He went to school with my nieces. He said he got his welding certificate at Seward Tech Center and welded for awhile, then got his CDL and drove for DOT for awhile, and now works as an apprentice lineman for AP and T. He was missing some gizmo that would have made the job go faster, but he did the best he could with the equipment he brought. It  took into the early afternoon to get the middle window done, and the other two will have to wait. He emphasized that he wanted to finish the job and that was a good sign. He helped me put the window into the new frame, and I did a less than professional job as usual putting it in.

I had the container torn apart inside and tools everywhere, so slowly putting things away. The inside smells like welding slag. I’ve got the Kraken game 3 on the XM, and they just scored 4 goals in the second period to none for the Stars.

Brian took Mellissa and John and Mellissa’s friend Jaime out king fishing and caught 5. They got a bear on Friday evening. So lots of luck. Brian sent me photos of 5 kings they all caught at 4:45 pm. I had 15 minutes to race to Log Cabin to get the magic spoons, which I did.

Monday May 8

Went to the king spot on the outer coast for an overnight. Realized when I left my big cooler was missing. I remembered I’d sprayed it out and put it on end to dry and it must have blown overboard during the recent storm. Caught 4 kings, including 2 shakers, all on the lure I got at the store just before closing. Anchored behind the island there and butchered and froze the two kings. I ran out of water, so now the big question: is there enough of the emergency water in the 3? Gallon  jug to make coffee for a couple days. I also knew I could always run to a creek for water as I’m gonna boil it anyway.

Tuesday, May 9

Caught one king today. Came back to town and got about about 4:45 pm. Beautiful 2 days of fishing. Would have liked to have stayed another day or two but a blow is coming to the outer coast, so I came back in and can fish closer to town for awhile. Water crisis averted.

Wed May 10

Up early and down to boat as wind shifted from NW to SE. After hearing Craig area forecast, I took boat to the harbor, and fueled up along the way. Boat burned ⅔ of a gallon per hour in two trips for 12 hours of running and 40 hours of trolling and using the heater. Ran out with Brian to set a skate of long line gear. Crap, we might get pounded tomorrow pulling it, but he had thawed out octopus bait that he didn’t get to use when Mellissa was here so that’s why we were setting. When I got home, I put the Mariners game on and started making sugar kelp salsa from the 5 gallon bucket of it Ellen got me from the giveaway day from Sea Grove. I’d chopped it and froze it when I got it. Today, I thawed the frozen packages of kelp slightly so I could chop it further, then ground it more in our ancient Vita Mix. I needed 16 cups of kelp for a double batch of salsa, and it took most of the 5 gallon bucket of kelp, which was great. I love my sugar kelp. I make it as chunky as I can, and like it alot better than the then kelp salsa I buy in the store.

Subscribe to Mark's blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.