Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Garden




Here's a shot or two of our garden out back. Obviously this was taken during one of the long stretch of sunny days that we had. The dry, sunny, warm spring really helped out the plants this year. Last year it rained so much that I had standing water in the lower parts of the garden and I couldn't even effectively do any weeding. The weather was so poor it just took away the desire to work in the yard, something I normally enjoy as a way to unwind from fishing.
The purple iris on the left were actually wild at one point. I dug them up years ago from an area in Juneau that has since become developed and currently has a Wal-Mart on it. I wish now that I had grabbed more of them. For some reason most of the local plants seem to favor the color purple. The iris, lupine, columbine and even the chives all have shades of violet to lavender. The red plants in the pot are petunias, which of course are an annual. We wanted to get a little color variation going. We have some sedum growing also, but it's behind the fiddlehead ferns, so every year we have to trim back the ferns so the other plants can get some light. Way back when we lived on the farm we ate some fiddlehead ferns. The plants were young and it seems like they may have been coated in something and deep fried. As I recall they were tasty.
That's not all the local plants we ate while I was at Game Creek- stinging nettles, wild cucumber, mayflower leaves and beach asparagus were also on the menu. I guess they were ok to eat, even if they didn't always taste good. I'm still here.
This will be the last post I make until I get back from fishing. Tomorrow I have depart for the great blue Pacific and see if I can drag up my share of king salmon before the short summer season is over. I don't know what people down south are paying for salmon, but the fishermen are taking it in the shorts this year price wise. In this economy I guess we should be glad to be able to afford to fish at all. Hopefully I'll return from the trip with some good photos. Talk to ya then.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Tourists Are Coming!


Here's a shot of one of the tour boats that anchor out by the cannery. This is looking through the tunnel on the way out to Icy Strait Point. Everyone here has always called it Cannery Point, but once tourism took hold I guess the powers that be felt like it had to have a classier name or some such thing. Most of the locals still just call it Cannery Point though.
That's not all that's changed with the coming of tourism to Hoonah. On the days when the ships are in there is a steady stream of busses and large vans up and down the roads, as well as hundreds of people walking up and down the roads. The town has roughly 850 people, so when you throw in another 500- to 1,000, it makes an impact. Then to have six or eight large city busses running through a town that doesn't even have a stop light, it starts feeling kind of crowded. I'm not overly enamored with the whole tourism thing. My biggest complaint is that so many seemed to have left common courtesy and common sense at home when they left on vacation. I've watched people walk right up onto a neighbor's porch and pick up a lawn ornament to have a picture taken. We've had folks walk into our yard and check out the flowers and though there is a sidewalk to walk on, so many people walk in the streets that signs had to be posted to remind them to stay out of the way of cars.
The flip side of all this is, it has provided quite a few seasonal jobs. I don't know how good the pay is, but there are a number of locals who work at the cannery all summer, which is good, since commercial fishing is on the decline and logging is all but over for the area. From what I can gather, Hoonah is one of the favorite stops for many of the tourists. So far they haven't become what so many of the larger towns are- a giant shopping center. Hopefully we can find the balance between the need for jobs and the need to maintain what makes Hoonah a great place to live.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fishing at Last

Holy Smokes! I thought I would never get out fishing. I finally made it though last Wednsday. I had a little problem with the port side gurdies not wanting to turn around on Tuesday. I was all set to go fishing and when I turned on the gurdies at the dock to check that they would work, the port side didn't budge. I was fortunate enough to be able to engage the sevices of Dave Austin at Tideland Tackle. He manages the store there and also does all the hydraulic work, so he was good enough to come down and look at the situation and determined that the love joy coupling was frozen and rubbing against the mounting bracket. It took me all day to fix the problem and replace the coupling, but I got it. Love joy coupling. I love the name of that. I'll have to get a picture of one so anyone who isn't familiar with them will know what I'm talking about. It sounds almost sensual doesn't it? Love joy. What a great name. Anyway, onward and upwards.
I got out fishing on the 17th. I just went in the bay- Port Frederick. I wasn't sure what to expect so I was pleasantly surprized when I started catching some dog salmon. I ended up with four and two pinks or humpies as they are known here. They don't pay much for either species so I cut them up and put them into gallon size freezer bags and put a lable on them and sold them to Tideland Tackle. They are marketed under the lable Tom's Halibaits. It's hard to beat salmon for halibut bait. I got back out fishing again last Saturday and caught a coho and two King Salmon. I took a picture of them. You can see the kings, but the coho is hidden by the ice. The kings weren't real big- together they weighed 23lbs dressed, but they were nice to catch. I had a big halibut on also, but it didn't stick around for the grand finale. The other picture is of Icy Straits, looking towards Homeshore. I was going to go out that way, but ended up turning around and fishing in the bay again. I took the picture from the front window of the boat, so you're seeing what I saw that day. Scraggy Island is immediately to the left and further left is Hoonah Island. It was a nice day but it got lumpy later like it so often does on sunny days here.
Hopefully I'll get a chance to go out later today. I need some more humpies and dogs for the Halibaits. I've got a bait freezer now and I want to fill it up so I'll be ready in case the orders come flowing in.



Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Travel Lift


This is a picture of the new travel lift that will be used to haul large boats out. I found out that it can haul a 220 ton boat. That's pretty good sized. The work I have been doing at the site has been to prepare the area for this travel lift. There has been a lot of work done to prepare for this. Hopefully it will be a money making venture for the city.
I had to haul my boat out last week using the existing trailer at the harbor. It works fine, but I would like to give this thing a try next time.
Off to the left of the picture is a porta-potty. As you can see, the wheels of the travel lift are as high as the potty. Wouldn't that be the pits to be inside when this thing went rolling by? If you were stoved up before, you probably wouldn't be afterwards.