Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moving Days

This looks like a pretty easy way to move from place to place, just hook up the house to the boat and away you go! But we went a different route. To move in and out of Alaska, the easiest way for us was to get a c-van from Alaska Marine Lines, they deliver it to your door, you load it up (we had a week and friends, THANKS LYN AND DEB!!!) then AML picks it up and will deliver it to your door to where you are moving, but in our case we will unload it at the AML yard in Seattle when we get there next week. From there we have more friends, glad we have friends! RUTH AND JERRY are not only helping us unload and reload to a u-haul, but are storing our "junk" in their shop and having us stay at their home until we get settled.
I can't believe the summer is over and we are on to another adventure! It's bittersweet leaving Alaska, I truly thought when we came here 7 1/2 years ago, we would retire here. But then our kids started having kids, and we want them to know who we are and to be able to spoil them. We were really starting to feel "homesick" this last winter, so decided to make the move after the summer charter season was over. Boy, did summer go by fast!The AML c-van, almost loaded and ready to go.

The boat did not sell before we left Hoonah. There was room on the ferry for us to bring it from Hoonah to Juneau, but not room on the ferry we were taking to Juneau to Bellingham. The van did an awesome job of pulling the boat, I was really stressing this. And thanks to yet more friends (KEVIN AND CINDY) we had a place to park the boat until they load it on the ferry for us at the end of October or it sells (keep your fingers crossed that it sells!)

Since we weren't needing our signs for the fishing charter we decided they looked pretty good on Chris Ericksons van (since he's staying in Hoonah). He was out bear hunting when we put them on his van, and had a good laugh when he got home. Maybe if he cuts the phone number off, he could put the signs on the side of his building......

So here we are in Juneau, waiting for the ferry to take us to Bellingham, we had a week between ferries, which was great. It has given us time to say goodbye to so many of our friends here. Barbara and Jacque have housed us and fed us for this week, I will miss them SO much, I wish I could pack them up and take them with us.
The termination dust on the mountains is saying it's time to go, winter is on it's way! I guess I'll be having to change this blog at some point, since Hoonah Byrd Nest won't seem appropriate when we start our new adventure in Eastern Washington.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Skate Fascination

My fascination with Skates continues. It took all summer, but we finally caught one so I could inspect it closer. They are just so pre-historic looking.
This one was kind enough to just lay there and let us take it's picture, notice the little feet like things, you can see what looks like legs under the skin too.

Frank got this close up of it's eye and gill, scary!
The tail has little barbs on it, so you have to watch so you don't get hit by it! The skin is like sand paper, very hard to hang onto unless you have a cloth or something to use between your hand and it's skin.
A shot from the top, you can't see the full spread of his wings here, since he was using them to hang on with.
He kind of looks sad here, his mouth is on the other side of him, he's like a halibut in some ways, with his eyes on top but his mouth is like a smile on the under side. His underside is also white in color like a halibut. Some people cut pieces out of the wings and cook them like scallops, we just let him go.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little Trouble Makers

The other day in broad day light, these little trouble makers were right out on the dock in the marina! Usually, they are so shy they are never around when there are very many people out and about.
These are Land Otters, they cause trouble by getting up on the boats and leaving BIG messes, they get into everything and they are so NOT litter trained!

This guy didn't want to leave his flounder he had caught and was busy munching on. He was going to put up with the picture taking even though he wasn't too happy about it.
I always wondered what ate those yucky flounders!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon, also known as Humpies are in the creeks by the tons right now trying to avoid the bears and fishermen to get some spawning done. Frank was out a couple of weeks ago catching them and trout on his fly rod. Once the salmon hit the fresh water of the creeks they start to turn (or decay) pretty fast. These are not good to eat but fun to catch and release. Right now the streams are getting pretty stinky with all of the dying and decaying fish floating in them, but this is good, a stinky stream is a healthy stream. All of the dead fish will leave needed nutrients in the water for the smolts (baby fish) when they hatch.
This is a female Pink, you can see the white on her belly where the decay is starting, they also turn very dark.The male Pinks, once they hit fresh water start to "hump up" (ah, the name "humpies"). You can see it on the top of this fish. And the humps get larger then this the longer they are in fresh water.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Cutest!

I love Sea Otters, they are so darned cute. We don't get them much in our area, very often. This one was floating along when we were whale watching at Pt. Adolphus last week.

He's just too cute!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fly Fishing with Frank

Frank loves to fly fish, I think it's his favorite type of fishing. After we went and picked strawberries last week, he talked me into "standing guard" while he fly fished for trout in Kennel Creek. Everyone knows how much I love being bear bait, but I did it, I stayed on the bridge with my gun and camera while he fly fished.
No, Frank didn't leave that pile of poo......

The Chum salmon were in the creek spawning, I love watching them, so I was occupied with them, when I remembered I was supposed to be watching Franks back. When I turned around this nice fuzzy guy was walking towards him on the bank. Frank couldn't see him because of a fallen log, so he started to walk towards the bear for a better look! Then he said, "well, are you going to take a picture or what?"
He finally decided to cross the creek, then went up through the woods onto the road, (ACK!) by me, where my adrenaline kicked in. At least my mind didn't go blank, when he stopped and stared at me. My first thought was to run, then gun, then camera. That shot was a little blurry. Thankfully, he kept going back down into the creek and away. Frank said he was very proud of me for not running in circles shooting my gun! I think I'd rather get my next rush from eating horseradish.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wild Strawberries

Frank drug me out of the house today to pick wild strawberries. I don't know why I'm so hard to get out of the house, guess I really am a homebody. So we strapped on the guns, and headed out the road. Once I'm there I really have a great time. I grew up picking strawberries in Oregon, well, these guys are not even close to being an Oregon strawberry! But for such a small little berry they pack in a lot of flavor. At first they are hard to find, they kind of tuck themselves into the moss and they grow really close to the ground. Most of the time we were on our knees picking these guys, but once we got used to seeing them they seemed to be everywhere! The area was flat with a big area to see around, so it wasn't as bad as I expected, there weren't many places for bears to hide and jump out at me.We pick almost 2 gallons, but cleaning them takes forever! The strawberry shortcake we had tonight was well worth the effort.We picked them all, red ones and almost red ones.
The salmon berries and blue berries are also ripe now. I don't really like salmon berries, there just isn't much flavor there. We'll wait to pick the blueberries after the first frost when we pick high bush cranberries.

The wild flowers are really in full bloom now. Frank took some good pictures of the flowers.
I love the color of the Fireweed, it's so beautiful this time of year, and it's everywhere!