Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Homer AK

Sunday July 13 – While travelling to Homer we stopped at a beautiful turnout just south of Moose Pass and got several mirror reflections pictures. It was hard to decide which one to post, I loved them all.

Arrived in Homer the ”Halibut Capital of the World” and found a nice City campground out on the spit on Cook Inlet. Walked around town to get a lay of the land. It’s really a small town with shops like these on both sides of the road.

One of the most photographed sights on the Homer Spit is the Salty Dawg Saloon.

I’m finding it interesting that there seems to be a need to leave part of ones self in these places. Here at the Salty Dawg people leave dollar bills signed and dated. There have to be hundreds of them.

Back at Watson Lake we too left our name plate in the Sign Post Forest, then in Chicken, the little tavern had signed hats tacked up everywhere. I don’t mean a few, the place was covered, just like the dollars at the Salty Dawg and the sign at the Sign Forest. Guess lots of us want to let others know that we were there.
We found a nice fixer upper for our son-in-law. I’m sure it even has a bedroom and bathroom. What do you think?

Did you see the view we have?

Is that gorgeous or what? I’m still amazed at how much the tide goes out or comes in. Didn’t even look like the same place.
We signed up for a half day Halibut Charter for Monday morning. Had to be dockside at the Born Free by 5:45. Are we crazy? The boat was 43’ with twin 300 CATS (that’s supposed to mean something to the sil). There were 15 fishermen signed on and 1 captain and 1 crew. Those guys were going to be kept busy baiting us up and helping reel them in. We rode out about an hour and a half which they said was 17 miles out, and were fishing at a depth of about 175’. Aaron (the crew guy) cut a bunch of herring into thirds that became our bait. He baited everyone up and we dropped our lines. One of the first catches of the day was a sting ray. Definitely a catch and release.

I finally got my first catch about 20 minutes into fishing (I thought you just dropped a line and they jumped on). Fishing is not easy.

This was what they consider a small halibut, but I thought it was a keeper and so I kept it. MM threw three back before keeping his first one. Here’s his catch of the day.

And mine.

We saw lots of sea otter out at sea. They are so fun to watch. They just float on their backs with their front flippers (whatever they call them) crossed over their chests. Then when they tire of that they flip over and dive. When you get several of them doing it it can be very entertaining.
Everyone got their limit of two each and we headed back into shore. That too was interesting because Aaron fillets and bags all of our fish right there while cruising in. Did you notice the yellow tag on our fish? Well, as you catch a fish you give him one of the tags he gave you when we started out, he then tags the fish and drops it in a huge container. When we started going back in he pulled the plug on the container and started sorting the fish by the tag color. He then grabs two of the same color and puts them on the surface he’s working on. He makes about 3 or 4 cuts and has two fillets off one side, he flips the fish and makes the same cuts on the other side and that fish is done. He drops the fillets in a bucket as he cuts them along with the color tag. Once he has a few colors done he stops and bags up each color seperately. This kid worked hard!! Once all the filleting was done he had to clean the boat for the next charter scheduled to leave as soon as he dropped us off.

We got back after a total of 5 ½ hours and it was a long day. Dropped our fish off at a processing place where they flash froze and vacuum sealed it into 1 pound packages for pick up the next day. Back at camp we were exhaused and starved. We hadn’t eaten breakfast because it was too early and once on the boat we were too busy or just not interested in the food we brought, whatever the reason we were starved by 12:30. We stayed close to camp that afternoon and enjoyed the view of the Cook Inlet. There was even a sea otter that came to entertain us at camp.

This place sure is full of surprises.

Tues 7/15 MM was rewarded with his early rising by seeing an eagle in front of our coach. We had actually seen one the night before, but this one was right there asking us to photograph him.

Next we headed over to pick up our processed fish. We had to eat a few popcicles to make room, but it all fit in our freezer. While down a the dock again we found Scooter & Co next rig.

What do you think Al? I think Sue could do a lot with this place, she is good.
We drove over to Old Kenai and strolled around. All of these towns are so interesting in their own right. Old Kenai has a distinct Russian flavor. They had a beautiful old Russian Church along with many other similar buildings. Out on Bulega Point there were a lot of fisherman fishing from shore. We also found a cool snowmobile for Sis and her Hubby.

What do you guys think? It’s a Ford, and it looks pretty clean.

We’re kind of backtracking now because Alaska has only one road into or out of a town. So, if you head down from Anchorage on the Seward Highway. That highway takes you to Seward. Makes sense right? But, that is the only road to get into Seward. Part way down the Seward Highway you can turn west onto the Sterling Highway to go to Homer. On the way to Homer there are a lot of other towns like Soldotna, and Kenai, but it ends at Homer and then you have to go back the same way. The only other option would be to take a boat, if you’re driving you have to turn around and go back. Unusual for us city dwellers, but a fact of life out here. Guess that’s why so many have their pilots licenses. Where we are parked for the night (Summit Lake) we just saw a float plane take off. Way different way of life.


Wendy's Wanderings said...

I've been to the infamous Salty Dawg... not sure if I left any momentos there or not...

Nice halibut catch too!!

whoever said...

Still with the wonderful narrative and beautiful pictures... I hope you can print and bind this! You could make your first million! Maybe you should consider writing travel books or something!

Anyway... glad you're having a good time!


Harmony said...

Awesome pictures!! We just got the one boat fixed up - I think we'll take a break before we start on the next! Hahahaha...

Miss you!!

siteseer said...

Whoever, I actually finished reading a book by Sally Lesh titled "Lunch at Toad River Moving to Alaska" At the age of 38 she and her husband and 8 kids, ranging in age from 17 - 2, decided to move to Alaska. They left Massachusetts in 1960 in a converted school bus. Hey, you could do this! They slept in tents and teepee's that they erected every night - sounding like fun yet? It was a fun read while travelling to Alaska.

siteseer said...

Harmony, Dad says you'd have to get this one to float first lol.

B Boys Mom said...

The fishing thing sounds really fun, but you guys look cold.

siteseer said...

b boys mom... It was cold (the whole trip has not been 'warm'), but our new jackets kept us remarkably warm. When walking today I had to unzip it because I was warm. It's in the 40's. Can't wait to get home to 'summer', save some for me lol.