Last night out and about….Crab Bay to Swanson’s Cove

Saturday- exploring Tenekee

Friday night we anchored in Crab  Bay ( for obvious reasons) across from Tenekee Springs. There were many crab traps out in the bay, and after we dropped anchor and put everything in order Denis took me out and we dropped three traps. There were other traps, commercial, around us, and there were others further into the bay. Dinner was late because it took so long to get the dinghy in and the traps out and all that hunter-gatherer stuff, but it was delicious – left over salmon cakes turned into alfredo spaghetti… trust me, it was wonderful!

we are zonked by 9 – I like to sit and read a bit but after a day on the water it doesn’t take much to put me to sleep.  We wake up early, with the sun – usually I wake at 430 or 5, but manage to catch another hour.  My clock is waiting for Denis to grind coffee, and to hear the kettle whistling.  This morning he didn’t grind ( already had enough ) and the kettle mysteriously did not sing. I was late!!!! 700!!!!! slacker!!!

Lots to do this morning too.  It’s exercise day, Denis does calisthenics, Mary does Tai Chi, and I have started to do yoga on the back deck.  Not much room, but I make do. 

That’s after coffee.  Then after exercise it’s  go get the crab traps and bring them in.  This morning it was calm so I didn’t get soaked, and success!!!  first two traps had two each , good sized ones… though one was a very beat up female, with barnacles and a small mollusc growing on her… probably close to molting time, she was a bit ragged…being a female, she went back.

 So we brought everything in, Denis cleaned them and cooked them… then it was breakfast – left over muffins fried in butter ( oh my! ) and some left over apple slices for me.

Another load of dishwashing for me, Teka III was ready to go, and we upped anchor and left.

Still haven’t seen any bears! 

It was a quick trip over to Tenekee, where we found a spot on the dock and tied up, so we could walk into “town’ and maybe grab some lunch.

What a delightful place! The houses are lovely, a bit like Sointula but no road just a path… some houses are on still on the water side, others are uphill on the other side. They have lots of history – we met a couple who had retired and bought an old boathouse, and totally converted it into a gorgeous house.  I liked them , they had a lovely dog and the husband was bringing back bags of wines. Nice!!! 

Bicycles and  ATV’s are the approved ( and unapproved) method of transportation.  Lots and lots of them!

And boats of course.

We chatted up a few people, admired some lovely gardens, Mary re-acquainted herself with Elizabeth Shaw – (lovely garden , quirky turn of humour, and lots and lots of hostas..) we scoped out the cafe and reserved a half dozen cinnamon buns.  Then we went back and had quiche and coffee for lunch .  What a delightful place!  AND they had wifi so I managed a few quick messages out to the other world I live in.

Met another couple who had just caught a halibut – she caught it and brought it in, and was very very proud of it!  He was smoking salmon and let us have a taste – and gave us the secret fishing holes where they catch fish.  

There are older people here, and there are young people here.  There is a school, and the requirement is ten kids – we were told that next year there won’t be a school.  People either have to move, or home school.  They sometimes bring kids in from other communities but that doesn’t always work.

It’s an interesting place to raise kids – it is not a town, but they have a little store – a little cafe – a school – a library – a bath house ( we peeked in because it was ladies only time).. mail delivery ( everyone was lugging around walmart boxes and such!!!  happy day!!!!) 

There are bears.  So wandering in the woods to play would not be my favourite thing for the kids to do. 

With that, we left and walked back to the dock and Teka.  It was a pretty fair little hike for  Mary, and it was nice to stretch our legs. Now we are travelling north again, bypassing the fishing holes ( they will go with other crew members) and heading to somewhere I am told has been successful for halibut. 

Let’s hope so!

On the other hand… we have one large crab each tonight.. so who is complaining??  Not me!!!

Later… Pavlof’s cove..

well, chalk this up to the day where we did almost everything right!

we left Tenekee, chasing the fish.. Denis had a place in mind for the rockfish halibut efforts, and it produced big time. I had a new lure and it just couldn’t get down fast enough before a fish got on it. Denis was in the same boat… we had to take turns with the pliers getting the fish off the hook and into the bucket.. all rock fish and all fine.

Then we moved a bit, and Mary set us up with some great fish.  I managed to get my new lure ( lost the old one somehow… not sure how that happened)…. down to the bottom, over 300 feet of line. and then the strike.  It was different… I reeled like mad, and already my wrists and arms had been upping fish for a while so they were sore.  I kept reeling, thinking this isn’t the same. It had hit the bottom, and then wham it was a strike.  Halibut??? maybe? I reeled and reeled, and my arms started hurting as did my wrists. I asked Denis if he could spell me but he laughed and said it was my fish I had to bring it in.  I reeled some more and then all of a sudden I was hit with the worst headache I have ever had in my life.  Combination diesel fumes/ and the strain of bringing up a fish, hard – almost threw up it hurt so bad.  But I brought that thing up and guess what??? it was a halibut!  not huge… but still.  I was almost crying with the pain in my head so I just handed off to Denis and went to the bow of the boat to try to get rid of the headache. 

weird.  Never ever had that before, but I really think it was the strain of bringing it in hard…. tense muscles.. etc… After a few minutes of stretching and breathing and water I got mostly rid of it and went back and apologized and celebrated my catch!!! And an ibuprofn just in case.  Don’t ever want to experience that again. 

That was it.. we had a bucket full of fish and that was enough. Off we went to anchor in pavlof’s cove… a very pretty place indeed but kind of full of boats.  A few turns around found us a spot, and as I was preparing myself to help Denis  anchor they both yelled “bear!” on the beach in front of us  .  So I got another Alaska moment!

Anchored, we then cleaned the fish.  It took Denis about an hour or more to fillet all the fish. I washed and dried and  bagged them and tomorrow we will decide what to eat and what to freeze.

THEN it was time for wine.  730????  wow! are we ever late tonight!

i had bought a nice bottle of red for dinner, plus my white, so we had a wonderful hour on the back lanai enjoying the wine, then we broke out the crab that was already cooked and that, my friends, was dinner.  Nothing else.  Just crab.  and wine.  and I tell you.  It doesn’t get any better than that!!!!


Today we fished for salmon, and although it wasn’t quite the “a fish every time we put down the hook” kind of deal like it was with the rockfish and the halibut, it was pretty darn good. Also pretty neat watching the killer whales and the hump back whales cruising right next to the rocky beach. Interesting.

And many salmon jumping, so I was pretty pleased a few decided to come our way. After my second salmon I told Denis I was closing shop, and he decided to quit  as well.  His fish was about 15 pounds, mine were probably 5 – 7 each – enough fish for anyone! And of course, he had to clean them so I figured three was enough. After that the cruise up to Icy Strait was lovely, the sun slowly came out from behind the clouds and Mount Fair-weather appeared in the distance – gorgeous! wish I had time to get closer, and to see the glaciers and the ice fields….

Now we are sitting in Swanson’s cove, which is very pretty – the backdrop of magnificent mountains makes it really special.  Unfortunately the horseflies make it impossible to go out.  There is a bit of a wind, so it might not be that bad. 

But we have internet, cel service, what have you… so of course that is keeping us occupied for a little while!  And then it will be a quiet afternoon, as the last few days have been pretty busy.

Successful hunter gatherers we are. Alaska has given me an experience I won’t soon forget.  I can hardly wait to come back! Tomorrow, Juneau. The big city. I am not sure what the weather will be, but I think it may be a long day on the water. Should be fun!