Sea Jay Goes North 2011

Sea Jay Goes North  2011
Dawes Glacier Endicott Arm Alaska

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kalinin Bay to Sitka

We left Kalinin Bay for Sitka to get our supplies replenished and pass our 40 pounds of Salmon Filets to Big Blue, a company that will smoke the fish and ship it to us when we get home.

Our long time friend Jim Passage came to Sitka to get more Salmon and we did get him five or six more fish for him to take home. The Kings had moved on but we still got one or two Kings and some nice Silvers. Sunday Jim, Cheryl and I went on a two hour tour of Sitka and visited a cultural center and some nice Totem Poles and learned a lot about the history of Sitka.

Last night we went to a wine tasting dinner at a local hotel with the Gill's, Oberto's and Bonnie and Ron who are new friends of the Gill's. The dinner was nice and we got an interesting presentation from the wine maker, from Robert Strong winery.

They produce and sell about 12 million bottles a year. Today we will go back to Kalinin Bay for the third and last time to see if we can get some bottom fish and a salmon or two then begin out journey back south. Our goal is to be in Wrangle for the 4th of July and be in the Broughtons late July

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sitka to Kalinin Bay & Sukoi Bay 6-10-6-13

We left Sitka to go north to Kalinin Bay to see if we could catch some Salmon. Spirit went South to go around the south end of Baranof Island. Kalinin Bay is a very nice anchorage just inside open ocean and we found it to be very popular with the sport fisherman. Next morning we took the Aksano out at the tide change at the crack of ten and within two hours we had our daily limit of King Salmon and one nice Black Cod/Sea Bass.

The next morning we went out again and as soon as I got the herring set with the down riggers Cheryl had a salmon on then at the same time I had one on. Our first double header. It was a calamity with Cheryl reeling a 35 pound King and me trying to reel and net a 25 pound King single handed ....but eventually we got them both in the boat and once again after only 20 minutes we had our daily limit and enough Salmon to last us a year. That afternoon we went a few miles southeast and anchored in Sukoi Bay and were there alone for the night.

Sukoi Bay is a beautiful setting complete with Grizzly Bears, Black bears on the beach. (the Grizzlys eat grass and the Black Bear pick through the rocks looking for food). There were also three adult deer and a fawn running about. It was all very entertaining.
Today we returned to Sitka for my final blood test and plan to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on Tuesday with the Gills (their wedding anniversary was three days ago) .

Thursday, June 09, 2011

BABY BEAR COVE to SITKA 6/4-6/9 2011

We left Appleton Cove and headed for Baby Bear Cove about 30 miles away. The weather was great and on the way a Large Alaska Cat Ferry passed us at over 40 MPH. It is a monster Cat with lots of power. As we travel at 10 knots and Spirit travels at 8.7 we arrived first at Baby Bear and the entrance was all but hidden and we had to really trust our charts weaving through Sharks Teeth rocks to a wonderful well protected anchorage. After Spirit arrived they rafted to Sea Jay and we went to Long Bay about 5 miles away in the shore boat to set the crab pots. Later that evening we pulled the pots with moderate success and moved them to Baby Bear. Next morning Patrick pulled the pots early and we left at 07:00 to reach nearby Surges Narrows at slack tide and arrived at Sitka by noon. That evening we had another wonderful dinner and the Channel Club where I had Smoked Black Cod and it was to die for. The Sitka Marina is very large and it seems like we are a mile from the ramp. On Monday June 6, our Everett Marina next door neighbors Brian and Nancy flew up to Sitka to visit until today June 9. We took them to De Groffe Bay about 13 miles from Sitka. It is a very beautiful Bay with good holding and maximum protection from the weather. That evening Brian and I set the crab pots and in the day and a half there we got only one nice keeper. On Tuesday we went on a safari in the AKSANO and got the full meal deal including a great Hump Back Whale demo with full tail viewing, a momma grizzly and two cubs on the beach, seals on the rocks, eagles every where and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. Our weather and location was wonderful for their visit as is was blowing 35 kits on the outside and in Sitka. We headed back to Sitka and had the whole afternoon touring downtown to get neat stuff including a wonderful metal Hump back Whale art piece done by a local craftsman and had another great dinner at Ludvigs Bistro with our guests and the Gills.

Today is a quiet day of R&R and we plan to go fishing later this weekend or the first part of next week.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Swanson Harbor, Tenakee Springs, Takatz Bay, Appleton Cove

We went from Juneau to Swanson Harbor and spent a relaxing three days moored at a Government Float with some pleasant locals from Juneau. Patrick and I tried our luck at Halibut fishing with no luck. Then we went to Tenakee Springs, a town of about 80 folks. We walked into town and all the stores were closed for the holiday. Next we traveled to Takatz Bay which is arguably the most beautiful anchorage on the west coast. This was a dream like a movie set with waterfalls and snow capped mountains. Patrick and I both caught a nice local fish and we smoked it on the Traeger BBQ.

Juneau & Skagway

The trip to Juneau was uneventful with the exception of too much fog. Probably would have been pretty otherwise. We came across a few humpbacks grazing on the way up but none of them wanted to get up and play so we only saw one tail. Once moored at Aurora Basin, we explored a little bit of Juneau. The city was filled with 5 cruise ships and the streets were filled with every one of the people from those cruise ships. WOW what a crowd!! Managed to find a good restaurant for dinner and called it a night.

Trip to Skagway

One of our main reasons for coming to Juneau was to fly to Skagway and take the 3-hour train ride through the mountains. So early Tuesday morning we flew to Skagway (sure glad we didn’t take the boat - it’s 100 miles). Fortunately for us, all fog lifted and we had a wonderful clear 40 minute ride. We flew into Skagway only to find another 4 cruise ships docked. And all of the people from those cruise ships were walking around this tiny, little town of Skagway. It’s what keeps these little towns going. We had breakfast, walked around the town for a while and fortunately got on one of the last trains that wasn’t completely full so we each had our own seat. All I can say about the trip is that everyone has to do this at least once in their lifetime. It was fantastic! AWESOME!! The scenery is to die for; just like you’d expect to see in Alaska; steep cliffs, lots of wonderful waterfalls, heavy snow capped mountains, beautiful trees, two pitch-black tunnels to go through in the train, old trestles where you look straight down 2000 feet or more. The trip was exactly what we had wanted and a dream come true. Jim had a smile on his face the whole time while taking lots of pictures.

Our flight back to Juneau was beautiful. The pilot took us through the heart of the snow-capped mountains, where all we saw were the mountains and nothing else - except for a few more glaciers. An exceptional ride. Came back to the Gill’s for a wonderful dinner and called it a night.

Wednesday we’re playing tourist around Juneau.