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Monday, June 27, 2011

Salmon Fishing

June 27, 2011
Anchorage Position: 52°44.8171N 128°44.4497W
Alston Cove, Laredo Inlet

Sailed from Kitsau Bay toward Aristazabal Island (pronounced 'Aristabal') where we encountered a flock of Bald Eagles swooping down and snatching unsuspecting fish out of the water. Simply amazing to see more than 20 eagles flying, one after another, swooping down in turn to snatch the fish with their razor sharp talons. Eagles that were taking a break to eat their catch, perched on a nearby rock bluff overlooking the action below. Needless to say the fishing was good all around and based on the semi-secret tips of a commercial fisherman we have had some fishing success ourselves. Spent a few hours trolling for salmon and after breaking off two fish (too light of leader) we landed a really nice Coho. We anchored overnight in Weeteean Bay near the South end of Aristazbal and the next morning headed out for some early 6AM fishing. Before 9AM had a very nice Tyee Chinook salmon onboard, perhaps my biggest salmon yet. We filmed the catching with a new 'GoPro' HD video head cam so look for a video post soon.

After a beach BBQ in Weeteeam Bay we pressure canned the remainder of our Coho salmon. Having such a quantity of fresh salmon I decided to build a fish smoker on a nearby beach. The fish smoker was about 4' tall and comprised of a stone base located next to an old log and then hoops of cedar branches formed a frame into which I wove more cedar branches. On top I made a smoking rack out of you guessed it, cedar. Luckily, there were a few Alder trees on the small island so after marinating the fish overnight I built a small smoldering fire and cold smoked the fish for 8 hours. A great project for the day, but not without some pain. Chopping some wood I managed to catch a flying chunk of wood with my eye and thus have a very nice black eye and small cut, good thing I had on glasses or it could have been worse. The fresh smoked fish was worth the effort and even the black eye. Delicious!

Spending the night in Alston Cove, Laredo Inlet and likely making our way toward Prince Rupert in the next few days to reprovision with fresh fruits and vegetables to compliment all the amazing fresh fish.

Dave & Kathy
s/v LightSpeed

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