Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There's Fishing and There's Catching

When it is just the two of us on the boat, our fishing resembles a Chinese fire drill. Jan runs the helm and finds the fish, Doug tends the down riggers. We wait for those great words - FISH ON! Doug sets the hook and begins to reel. Jan's work begins. She reduces the engines to 600 rmp, disengages the trolling motors, puts the main engines in neutral and races down from the bridge. If it is her turn to bring in the fish Doug hands her the catching pole and tends to the chores. If it is Doug's turn to bring in the fish, she reels in the second pole, brings both down rigger balls up and in the boat and prepares to net the fish. Bonking is always Doug's job. It's always more fun when we have guests and can spread the jobs around.

We were delighted to have Jim and Denise a part of our fishing adventures. In 2008 they met us on the West Coast of Vancouver Island which is known to be one of the finest salmon fisheries in the world. Unfortunately, that year was the worst catching in recent history. Nary a salmon was caught during their time with us.

But their trip this year was a different story.

They were the fisherpersons of the week catching 7 salmon and the limit of 12 ling cod. Just too much fun.

Soon after they departed we found good halibut fishing wsith Doug being the King of Halibut - 20 lbs and 40 lbs. Jan landed a 30 pounder.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fjiords, Baby Seals and Totems

Fjiordland is a marine park north of Bella Bella framed by high granite cliffs sculpted by glaciers and touched by history. Waterfalls are everywhere. We cruised up Kynoch Inlet and transited a small tidal rapid and spent the night as the sole human inhabitants. The next morning we traveled north through Mussel Inlet where Captain Vancouver had dispatched his men up Mussel Inlet on the endless search for a way through from the West Coast to the East Coast. The crew gathered mussels for dinner not knowing they were contaminated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (red tide). Many men were ill and one died. As a result the cove at the end of Mussel Inlet is named Poison Cove.

Early the next morning at Windy Bay anchorage Doug captured an amazing picture. We were anchored close shore. The seals that had played the night before hauled out on the rocks. First the big male, next the female who quickly rolled on her side. Their baby quickly followed and began his breakfast. Simply amazing.

Looking out toward the Pacific Ocean from the Seaforth Channel three watchers once stood. Their origins remain a mystery. Perhaps they stood watch for a Haida war party coming from the north. One still stands, one is no more and one watcher sleeps.