Friday, July 15, 2016

Wrangell, AK

We planned to fish Thursday, then have Happy Hour with Al and Nancy who own a cabin in Meyers Chuck, friends of our Gig Harbor buddies Bob and Debi who also did the Great Loop. Our dinghy was in the water, rods were set up to mooch for salmon, and we decided to listen to the VHF weather channel before taking off. Uh oh! Big wind and waves were now forecast to begin that night and stay for a couple days. So we stowed the rods and dinghy, and took off for Wrangell instead, having a non-negotiable commitment there Saturday. Goodbye to Meyers Chuck; we'll return southbound.

The 58-mile "back route" to Wrangell transits The Narrows which sounded tricky in the write-up, but wasn't. Despite narrow, winding, shallow rocky segments with a 90-degree turn, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway prepared us well. We throttled down and had no trouble. 

We're tied at the end of a dock adjacent to the fish cleaning station. Saturday morning Cathryn approached two fellows cutting up salmon there, seeking local knowledge about nearby fishing spots. Wes and Pat regaled her with Alaskan fishing and bear encounters, all hilarious or terrifying. Bob joined eventually, and Wes and Pat encouraged us to try halibut fishing. But our light-weight rods aren't suitable for halibut, so Pat handed us one of his halibut rods, Wes rigged it properly while showing Cathryn how, and they told us where to find them to return their gear in the evening. Really? To strangers? Below are Wes and Pat, headed out for a day of long-line halibut fishing with 250 hooks to set.

We dropped the dinghy, pulled bait out of our freezer, and off we went with Pat's halibut rod to the suggested location. Sadly, 3 hours later we'd only caught some debris on the bottom, and it was beginning to drizzle, so that was the end of our halibut attempt. But we had fun and learned some things!

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