Monday, September 29, 2008

Hunting and Gathering

We had a fairly decent day (considering what we've had since) right after I got back from Washington, so thought we'd head "out the road" to see what we could see. Didn't see any deer, I think they are talking about making it a buck only season again, the deer still haven't recovered from our record snow fall from a couple of years ago. Didn't see any fish in the streams either, lots of bear sign in the roads, they've been eating LOTS of berries! We found a nice spot to pick berries, up on a hill, I could see all around me, so I was comfortable picking there, plus the huckleberries were huge! We got about 2 gallons, but now I remember why we wait until after the first couple of good frosts before we pick our fall berries. The no-see-ums were very active, about made me crazy. Also after the frosts there are less leaves and you can see the berries better. Frank had caught quite a few salmon while I was gone, so he was just finishing up smoking them, in time for me to vacuum seal them. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas? If this rain ever lets up we hope to get out and pick more berries, we still need to get the high bush cranberries picked and made into syrup and jelly before we take our trip south.

Friday, September 19, 2008

More of Long Beach, WA

Really nice board walk, with lots of bike trails under and around it.
There is almost always someone flying kites.......Wood carvings along the walk.......
I've really been enjoying all of the sun while I've been here. I wish I could bring it home with me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Autumn helped me pick blackberries today, they are everywhere. It's so nice not to have to carry a gun to pick berries. But we did learn that using ziplocks didn't work very good either, they would get caught on the thorns, putting holes in the bags and then blackberry juice was dripping everywhere. Of course the biggest berries are the ones are just out of reach.

Our hands are all stained and scratched, but so worth it.

I may have to go back for more tomorrow, it seems such a waste to just leave them.
This was the sunset tonight, it lasted about 3 minutes from this picture. It was so calm on the beach tonight, no wind. Autumn and I just kept walking, but realized on our way back that we had passed the trail back to the house, so we just took the first one we came too, walked out to the highway then back down to my moms house. Got a good walk in!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Flew into summer.....

It was so easy, just fly south of Alaska and you get sun, wow! As soon as I landed in Seattle I was in SUN!!!! Then I flew into Portland, and it was still sunny! JC and Autumn picked me up in Portland and drove me down to Long Beach, where the sun was still shinning. We've had weather in the high 70's since I've been here. I was doing some painting on my moms house and noticed I had tan lines on my arms when I was done!
I don't know why it is, but even though we live on the ocean it doesn't feel like a beach. The kids had to put their feet in the water, man that is cold.

We've been coming to Long Beach since before JC was born to visit grandma and grandpa, and we've never gotten a picture in front of the famous frying pan before!
I can't believe they are building huge (or any) houses in the dunes now. Kind of makes me wish for a tsunami. Well, maybe after my mom is no longer around to witness it......But it used to be you could just walk down to the beach from her house, now it is all private property and you have to use a "public" trail so you aren't cutting through someones yard. UGH.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Frank and Jerry had some free time yesterday so they drove out to a stream to do some fishing. Frank had been wanting to go to this spot for a long time, but me, being the big chicken that I am with all the bears, have not offered to go with him. I'm glad Jerry is here and they can go do these things.

These pink salmon are all "humped" up on their backs, ready to spawn.

They saw quite a few bears along the stream and trail, but the bears were only interested in the salmon. Frank got a pretty good video of a bear catching a salmon.(which I tried to upload, but this connection is too slow, maybe I'll try again when I can get a better connection) I don't think I would have wanted to be that close!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How do you deal with a really BIG fish? as best as you can.....

We usually try and talk clients out of keeping the really big halibut, but it's pretty exciting fighting a huge fish and when that fish is next to the boat it's really hard for anyone to say, "no, let it go". This summer we have had more bigger fish since we have started charter fishing. Who knows why there is more this year then last. I think it's because we haven't seen any commercial skates laid out where we fish this year, but I'm sure it could be a number of other reasons too. I also remind myself that I see 100 and 100+ pounders all the time being lifted up into the processor by the commercial fisherman, and we are not even close to taking that many. We are also one of the few charters who do not shoot the big fish when they are next to the boat, seems pretty dangerous to have a loaded gun on board with clients. So, Frank harpoons the big ones, and once we get them back to the boat we tie the tail and head to the boat until we can bring them into the boat without it beating everyone up.

Once in the boat it won't fit in the floor well, so Frank ties it up as best he can to keep it in one spot until we get back to the dock.

Getting this out of the boat was not an easy project either. Frank slipped on some fish slim and almost went in the water. But with 3 guys they managed to get it into a cart and pushed up to the pickup. The Harbor Master complained that they were going to break the cart, I guess we were supposed to cut it in half and use 2 carts!
Load it in the back of the Toyota and transport it to the processor. He brought out his fork lift to weigh it on, and get some pictures.

That's a happy family with the 265 pounder. Franks sister Leah, husband Steve with his parents, who just happen to be in their 80's.

Dave the processor, filleting the monster. Each fillet weighed around 40lbs each. Franks sister, Leah and her husband will be taking home a lot of fish.