Thursday, August 27, 2009

Delectable Prawns and Sunsets

There are few things more enjoyable than eating prawns and watching a beautiful sunset. British Columbia has an abundance of both prawns and sunsets. The sunsets are a gift and the prawns require more work.

British Columbia has 25 species of prawns and we have caught five. The most common, spot prawns can grow to 10 inches from tip to tip. The next most common type is the tiger prawn which is more delicate and smaller. There is a tiny hairy prawn that we have not identified and a large brilliant red prawn that is tasty.

Prawns are found in about 300 feet of water and have a keen sense of smell which leads them to the delectable fish fertilizer and prawn bait concoction that seeps from our pots. They have brilliant golden eyes on stalks that darken when they are out of the water.

British Columbia prawns are sweeter and more flavorful than others we have tasted. We tend to cook them simply. A Carolina Skillet where you just put the prawns in a hot skillet and cook them in their own juices, a simple fry or perhaps seasoned with a touch of garlic and a scampi.

An interesting prawn fact is that prawns live for three years. Their first year is as a juvenile, the second is as a male and their final year is as a female.

I wonder what our world would be like if humans changed from juvenile to male to female in their life cycle.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Cruiser

It may puzzle you what life at sea is really like. Today we provide you with a glimpse into a typical day. The sound of the coffee grinder wakes me at about 7:30. Dear Doug rises earlier than I do and makes coffee. We provision our coffee before leaving port. The right morning coffee is an important to the start of a good day. We sip our coffee and love the morning view of the lifting fog.

Following coffee, we consult our fashion expert and ready for the day. Doug's lovely orange coordinated suit is accented by his stylish brown rubber boots. Jan's natty gray and black rain suit is set off with her very own stylish boots by the same designer her dear husband.

Morning exercise is pulling the heavy prawn traps with 400 feet of line. Nice catch with 44 prawns measuring at least 7 inches. Light rain starts so we head back to the boat to process the prawns and make breakfast. Not everyone eats fish tacos for breakfast but we caught some nice rock fish yesterday.

Clean up time. Breakfast dishes and vacuuming just like ashore. Jan finds the remote for the XM radio that was thought to be lost at sea. Next task is to get the water maker moving. We are down to 50 gallons and like to have a reserve. Check the voltage and start the inverter - the batteries are a little low.

Chef Doug notes that we need mayonnaise and makes his own with super healthy grape seed oil. The cooking bug has struck and blue cheese dressing is added to our fridge along with salmon salad from the fish we caught earlier in the week.

A rousing game of crib follows with the score standing at 1 and 1 for the day. Tonght we will study charts. It seems that there will be a little break in the weather tomorrow and we will head up for Smith Inlet around Cape Caution. Just another day in the life of a cruiser.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Buck, the Mayor of Strachan Bay

Buck grew up rough in Eastern Canada a lost boy who grew into a lost man. Then Buck encounter legendary Charlie Chisom of Strachan Bay. By all accounts, Charlie was a remarkable man who became Buck's best friend and business partner in a beach combing business behind the Nakwakto Rapids. A beach comber claims and markets logs located below the high water line.

Remote life and Charlie's friendhip agreed with Buck. and he flourished. From a lost soul he has become the Mayor of Strachan Bay (population 1).

In 2004 Charlie died and Buck lost his best friend and partner. The price of logs has fallen and Buck now cooks for a shake logging operation populated by 3 loggers who can drink their own weight in beer on a daily basis. Shake loggers cut up downed cedars from earlier logging cuts that were never hauled out. Occasionally they will find music wood which is cedar that has dried to a rich golden color and is worth four times the price.

Buck lives in floating home is typical of earlier loggers complete with a garden and a unique hummingbird feeder that contains nectar rather than vodka. At our parting, Mary Lee used our hailing system to sing a farewell to Buck.

Buck is interested in increasing the population of Strachan Bay if he could find a willing woman who doesn't mind bears, wolves and remote life. Strachan Bay yields wonderful seafood and has a nice cutthroat run, as our friend Jerry can attest. Apply in person or write to Buck, the Mayor of Strachan Bay.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guest Fishing Curse is Lifted by Ralph

Family and friends have accused us of renting salmon to be photographed with since no guest save Seth Gavin Peck has actually caught a fish while on board the SnowHawke. Seth's tale of catching an 18 lb king off Tofino was deemed suspect. It was said that he continued the cover up due to a plumbing debt owed Doug. Despite our protestations, this rented salmon myth has persisted for more than a year.

Deb and Ralph declined to fish and scoffed at our pictures of our nice fish caught eaarlier this year. Doug insisted and they reluctantly agreed to fish. Doug caught nothing. Ralph caught three and Debra caught one fish (albeit too small to photograph). Our unanswered question is:

Has the salmon curse been lifted or has it merely moved to the SnowHawke owners?
Only time will tell.