Sunday, October 16, 2011

Whitestone Harbor

I spoke to my daughter Camille earlier today and she said that she was tired of looking at the picture of the spawned out humpie. I don't know why, I think it looks just great. In order to appease her though, I thought I'd do another post. The reality is, I was really wanting to do one several days ago, but this computer was moving at the pace of cold  honey when it was working at all, so my creative genius was stifled. I hate it when that happens. It appears to be working today though, so I'll see if I can get this out for all to see. On the day that I took the picture of the humpie, I also took these pictures- quite a contrast huh? For as beautiful as these pictures are, it was difficult to fully appreciate the view because of the smell of the dead fish that we were surrounded by. That and the fact that there were bear trails close to where we were standing and Jan always envisions worse case scenarios. I don't know why; although twice I was chased by bears while at the farm and once I had to swim out of an airplane when it crashed into Lynn Canal. The fact is, I survived so what's to worry about? Maybe she's just more afraid when she's with me. Heck, I'm afraid when I'm with me too, but I can't get away from myself. For the most part though, I try to stay out of dangerous situations.
 These pictures were taken at Whitestone Harbor. Back when they were logging this whole area there was a road built to here.I'm not sure why, it doesn't look like that much timber here, mainly muskegs. Its a popular place to anchor and when the seine season is going on, this whole area can be filled up with seine boats and tenders. Once in awhile I make my way down here to troll. I've never done great, but there a few fish here now and then. I caught a 41 pound white king salmon here once. Lots of people don't realize that not all salmon have red flesh. For some reason the area around Icy Straits/Glacier Bay is the only place that they are found to the best of my knowledge. Of course the farmed salmon that are raised in the pens aren't red flesh either. I understand that the flesh is a kind of grey color, but they're dyed red to appeal to the consumer. On this particular day there were six or eight whales working outside the harbor. They were too far away to get a picture unfortunately. Whitestone is a gathering place for feed and fish at various times. It's close to where Icy Straits and Chatham Straits converge so the currents seem to force the fish into the area. It's also been the location of several tragedies that I'm aware of. Some years back a fellow from out of town was hunting with some of the locals and got separated. The weather was frigid as I recall and when he was finally found some days later, he was dead. It seems like the troopers were involved in that situation. It runs in my mind that the circumstances of his death were somewhat shaky. There was also an incident where one of the local seine boats, the Johnny A,was fishing down in Chatham. The crew had anchored in Whitestone and in the morning, when they left to go back out fishing, whoever was running the boat at the time ran right into a reef. I believe everyone was ok and the boat was able to be salvaged, but I suppose it kind of messed up the rest of the season. That same year two other boats ran aground in this area. The Three Daughters ran up on the reef at Sister's Island, but was able to get off at high tide, and another seine boat, I think it was the Perseverence,ran head long into the reef at Spasski Island. I remember that one very well. I was on my way over to Homeshore to fish. It was early in the morning and a crabber was on channel 16 calling the seine boat headed to Spasski Island to warn him that he was in danger of hitting the reef. I don't know how many times he called, but the guy apparently was sound asleep at the wheel. A few minutes later I heard the seine boat calling the coast guard saying that he had hit the reef and was taking on water. They managed to salvage that boat too and just the other day I think they were coming to Hoonah to offload some black cod or halibut. I highly suspect that there is a different captain running it. In any event, let that be a lesson to you. If you're in bear country, stay alert. If you're running a boat, stay alert. If you're driving your car stay alert-and STAY OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! Thankyou.

6 comments:

  1. LOL...very sound advice dad! Good thing we don't have cell service here in the boonies!!! I am in agreeance with Camille...that scenery there is far better than the dead humpie! Love ya!

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  2. Good blog dad, thanks for posting another one, and thanks for the awesome pictures.

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  3. Good blog, and great pictures. I love it out that way, sounds gross but the muskegs are so pretty, especially during fall and winter!

    Autumn

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  4. I've heard the white salmon are considered a real delicacy...

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  5. Hi girls- glad you liked the pictures. Whitestone is scenic and the drive out to there is so nice- especially this time of year. Hi Todd- white kings are preferred by many of the locals. Their flesh is really soft and the flavor has more of a butter-like taste according to some. For awhile they were marketed as Ivory Kings, I don't know if they still are or not. The downfall for fishermen is that they've always demanded a lesser price for some reason, as opposed to a higher price because of their reletively rare existence. Go figure.

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