Monday, July 28, 2014

Working and Photographing in Cordova

Cordova is a place I have wanted to visit for many years, but I have never had the pleasure until this last week.  Under blue bird skies we boarded the fast ferry Chenega in Whittier and sailed across Prince William Sound at an amazing 32 knots.  I brought along our digital SLR camera hoping to capture some good photos.  It was a good choice, the weather was nice most days and the scenery was great.  Cordova is a cute little town with a lots of rugged mountains, pretty boats, and wildlife.  I wish I had had more time to wander the town and learn more about the history, but on the other hand being out on the water all day was nice too.  I posted a lot of photos here because I just couldn't bring myself to narrow it down any further.  This is my favorite 16 photos out the 200 plus that I took last week.  Someday I would like to go back to Cordova with Molly and spend time learning more about the history and hiking trails in Chugach National Forest.

Iceberg in Portage Lake on the way to Whittier

Our survey boat the Latent Sea

Chugach Mountains near the Columbia Galcier

Compass Inlay on the floor of the Chenega

Mountains and flag from the deck of the Chenega near Valdez

The M/V Chenega

Boat in Orca Bay with Gulls

Old Cordova Public School

Fireweed overlooking Cordova

Overlooking Cordova

Cordova Boat Harbor

The Ruff & Ready


Porpose off our bow

The Northwestern set up to tender fish

Inside the Latent Sea

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Kodiak Fishing Pictures

Alex and a little pink
Alex fishing at the mouth of Chiniak Creek at 11:00 at night

Alex and Dad pulling in a 45 lb halibut

9 halibut
Before time gets away from me, here are a few photos from my little fishing vacation to Kodiak over the holiday weekend. We did a little of everything - gillnetting, pole fishing, and halibut fishing from both poles and a long line. We found a sweet spot for halibut and got nine within a few hours - two on poles and seven on the long line.

The day we halibut fished it was HOT (Kodiak hot, of course, meaning warmer than 65F). Usually on the ocean there is at least a little breeze, but there was not much of one that day. If we'd had a ladder to climb back in the skiff I would have gone swimming!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Arctic Birthday

Some photos of salmonberries from Kodiak, just because
Biggest Russianberries I have ever seen
I flew back to Kotzebue this morning on my 30th birthday. I've been in some remote places for previous birthdays, but never above the Arctic Circle before. I was thinking recently about all the places I've been for my birthday in the past - here is the list:

29th: Anchorage/Palmer - my birthday was two days after we arrived in Alaska after driving up from Seattle
28th: Seattle
27th: Juneau
26th: Penguq Site, King Salmon River, Alaska Peninsula
25th: Susanville, CA
24th: Seattle (I left Seattle at 1pm and flew west across the International dateline and got gyped out of the rest of my birthday).
23rd: Aniak, AK
22nd: Fairbanks
21st: Iceland
20th: Fairbanks
19th: Dutch Harbor

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More from Ketchikan

Ketchikan is known for being one of the rainiest places in Alaska, but the last couple of weeks I spent here haven't been too bad.  Maybe that's because I came prepared for rain or maybe its because I am still accustomed to the fall and winter seasons of Seattle.  I didn't see much sun while I was here but I still managed to capture a few good photos and take in some beautiful scenery.  Unfortunately the photos I took of an Orca didn't come out very well.  I was in Ketchikan over the Independence day weekend and even spent an afternoon downtown with the cruise ship tourists.  

Beach at a state park north of Ketchikan
Our survey vessel

Independence Day rubber ducky race at Creek Street.

Surveying on a nice calm day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fishing in Pasagshak

Kelly, not able to control her laughter
Happy to be heading back with a working motor and three reds
I think I just experienced some of the nicest 4th of July weather Kodiak has seen in a long time. And I caught some fish! I even got my first subsistence fishing permit. My parents have one so we have always put our gillnet out for salmon under their permit. On the day I arrived my dad was working and my mom is in a boot cast until a stress fracture in her foot heals. My sister and brother-in-law had nothing but time on our hands, so I got my own permit.

I have never taken the skiff out without my dad (once Ryan and I did take it out, but it didn't exactly go well). Our outboard is a little touchy, and old, and in fact, it's built from parts of two old outboards. It's the kind of motor that no one should take out unless they possess the skills to fix it themselves (which is often necessary). My brother-in-law is a mechanic so I had full faith in his ability to keep get that thing running again if it decided to quit.

We set the net in Pasagshak in what was a bit of a comedy show. It involved a lot of swear words and exclamations of "How does Dad usually do this?" and "How does your dad get this thing to start?" We first had trouble getting the outboard to start while we were getting pounded into the beach by the surf after we had dropped the anchor on the beach. Once Alex figured out the trick that it had to be in neutral to start, we started letting the net out while reversing away from the beach. We ended up with the net in a classy "S" shape. We looked like total professionals. Then we tried to straighten the net, which somewhat worked after some time. I'm sure the boats on either side of us were staring and probably laughing.

We sat out there for 5 hours and only caught 3 reds. But, we had nothing better to be doing than be bobbing around in the sun. Three reds is nothing to complain about.

Alex did learn something about our outboard, and I think we all learned that my dad makes setting the net look easy.