Archive for ◊ August, 2017 ◊

31 Aug 2017 Rubber Bands and Bailing Wire……..
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August 28th, 29th & 30th

Rick and His First Ever Salmon–12 Pound Coho

My day started at five and it was hair straight back getting the ice and bait in the boat before leaving at six. I picked up Rick, fifteen minutes later, on my way to the Douglas Channel. Rick is a lifelong valley resident and besides farming and logging he has done several projects on the River House property including re-digging the lake and putting in the new entry road not to mention clearing all the fence lines for the almost completed fencing project.

We stopped at Midway and fueled the Nice and truck. Next we stopped at Tim Horton’s for coffee and donuts before driving nonstop to Kitamat over three hours away.

Rick had never fished or been on the ocean and was more than concerned about the possibility of getting sick. We launched the boat in calm waters and made the one hour and twenty minute to our first stop to put out the crab traps. An hour later we put a dozen crabs into the live tank and headed west to Dillion Bay. As we passed Hartley Bay the seas started to kick up and we sloshed our way through two to four foot sloppy seas. Rick kept talking about sea sickness. When I offered him a hot dog and he accepted I knew he would be just fine.

We stopped at Block point and put out the lines and hooked three salmon in the first ten minutes losing two. Rick had never fished before and I was yelling instructions; keep the rod tip up, don’t horse them, etc while trying to net fish that were brought to the boat too quickly. It is never easy.

On the way to Dillon Bay the whales started to appear blowing spouts and showing their flutes.

Next we made the last twelve miles to Dillon Bay and put out the prawn traps and then anchored up to fish for halibut. We put out two lines for salmon as well. After two hours and no bites we found a safe spot and anchored up for the night. I boiled crab and Rick ate FOUR.

August 28th

We woke up to clear skies, flat calm and the promise of a beautiful day. Job one was checking the prawn traps and we were very happy to put one hundred and sixty seven in the pot. Next we went to a nearby point and started to troll for salmon. In the next two hours we boated our daily limit of eight. They were all cohos in the ten to twelve pound class. With them cleaned and on ice we anchored up for halibut. What we experienced next was jaw dropping. I noticed when I cleaned the fish they were eating krill. Krill are tiny shrimp like things loved by lots of things lurking in the ocean including whales. Shortly after we anchored up we saw a pod of six or seven whales coming and when they got within a hundred yards of the boat they apparently encountered krill. They apparently dove deep and started forming a bubble circle forcing the krill to the surface. The next thing we knew all the whales popped out of the water head first, in a circle, with their massive bodies half way out of the water. Amazing. They maintained that position for at least ten seconds. Gulls were everywhere grabbing the krill. AND ten minutes later they did it again. When I grabbed my camera it said no room for more pictures. I spent the next hour deleting pictures.

With all that going on we paid little attention to the rods until one bent violently towards the ocean. I quickly grabbed it and instantly realized it was a huge halibut way above the size limit. It didn’t matter as it soon shook off the line. A few minutes later Rick started jigging and hooked and landed a forty five pound halibut.

Rick Can Fix Anything…………..

Next we started to pull the prawn traps and the electronic puller gave up the ghost. NOT good. Two prawn traps are on each four hundred foot line and when full of bait and prawns weigh well over fifty pounds. Throw in current, wind and tide pulling them by hand is a VERY difficult task. Rick is a very creative and cleaver guy. He works on the farm and in the bush and is repairing things all the time. He took on the task and with nothing more than a few tools, rubber bands and bailing wire got the puller working and saving this old, not to mention his, back.

It started to blow up in late afternoon causing me to find a safe spot way in a back bay that was surrounded by mountains that blocked the wind. After a prawn and halibut dinner complete with new potatoes, from my garden, and Bush’s beans we called it a day at nine.

August 29th

Around three in the morning the wind came up and then the rain started pounding on the top of the Nice. It continued all night and I knew it wasn’t going to be a pleasant trip home. We got up late, at seven, had a quick cup of coffee and picked up the prawn traps. The puller worked just fine, however, I’ll have to buy a new motor before next season. We only made three pulls but ended with close to four hundred prawns.

When we started home we were greeted by four to six foot seas which isn’t a problem for the Nice or me. I could see the concern on Rick’s face and he started talking about sea sickness once again.

When we got back to Block Point the seas had calmed enough to put out the lines and we quickly caught seven salmon which filled our possession limit of sixteen.

With that done we headed for the crab spot and let the traps soak for an hour. When we pulled out the three traps we had nineteen legal crabs. With a big smile on his face Rick put them in the live well and we headed home.

We arrived back at Kitimat at four and were loaded up and on the road back home at Four thirty. We stopped at the Safeway in Smithers and gave a nice salmon to some friends and then I took Rick Home. I dropped off the crabs and prawns and drove the last ten miles to River House. I parked the Nice and put Ice on the salmon. Judith and I talked over a cold beer before I took a wonderful hot shower and called it a long day.

The day after a three day fishing trip is always busy. Andrew will arrive at nine and start weed whacking around the house. All the beautiful wild flowers are about gone and it is time to get them cleaned up in time for the fall colors just weeks or days away. Rick will come over at three thirty to process fish. This old boy won’t be attending Poker Night.

27 Aug 2017 Gone Fishing………….
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Buddy woke me up well before six to start my day. With her fed I went to my office with coffee in hand. The news was all about the flooding in Houston. They are calling the aftermath of Harvey a five hundred year storm. They have already had over twenty five inches of rain with a lot more expected. We heard from our daughter, Cathy, but no word from our granddaughter, Caitlyn, who is hunkered down near Houston in Friendswood, Texas.

I thought briefly about playing in the Sunday Storm but quickly gave up that idea. I had lots to do to get the boat ready and there is way too much to do to SPEND a day foolishly.

I tried again to get the F-350 started. Nada. The mechanic, who can’t come to the end of the week, instructed me to do exactly what U-Tube suggested. I tried again but NO cigar.

I went through my check list on getting the Nice ready for the last trip of the year. This trip will be challenging as I’ll be taking someone who has never fished or been on the ocean. The good news is he is an excellent mechanic and can help with the driving both on the water and highway.

On one of my several trips to the entry gate I came across a small black bear feeding in the upper hay field. He was a yearly who ran off into the bush then stood up and watched as I drove by.

Judith won the evening crib game. Leftovers for dinner were quick, good and easy.

I’ll be off to the Douglas Channel tomorrow morning early and won’t return until Wednesday. The weather forecast is excellent with lots of Cohos still being caught. No Blog until Thursday.

27 Aug 2017 Blog Catch Up Time………
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Just before bedtime Judith noticed Buddy no longer has any whiskers, over her tumor, on the right side of her face. We are not sure if the fell out from the tumor or from the constant washing of her face with her right paw. Buddy has been like glue spending most of her time either eating or on one of our laps. Her appetite is still good and she is eating everything in sight.

Andrew drove in at nine announcing the gate was open. It has been running on solar and apparently it couldn’t keep up with the excessive number of openings we had yesterday. We didn’t have all that many visitors but I made lots of trips through the gate working on the landscape plans.

Andrew and I put up all the wire on the southern fence line between the lake and the bluff overlooking the river. Once that was done we cleaned up the fence line removing all the pallets, braces and even took two loads of small rocks to the entry gate. Speaking of rocks…….

Make those boulders. When I checked out the gate an entire load of wheelbarrow sized boulders was dumped near the gate. I stopped by a pit near Smithers and made a deal on a dump truck load the will act as the accent rocks for the mound in front of the entry gate.

At days end I went to my neglected garden and picked lots of blueberries and cherries. Why again did I plant two cherry trees? The new apple tree is so loaded it broke a branch. Shame on me.

Tomorrow we’ll take the new ATV in for service. Yuck. While there we’ll run errands, bottle wine and maybe even visit the Fall Fair.

August 26th

I woke up with Houston and hurricane Harvey on my mind. Cathy and family live in the Houston area which is near the eye of this huge storm. Granddaughter Caitlyn, her husband and young daughter decided to ride it out at her dad’s house. I don’t agree with her decision, but……………… Cathy took Natalie and Mika to LaGrange, Texas a small town west of San Antonio. We talked with Cathy, mid-morning, and they were experiencing copious amounts of rain there and the flooding was up to the back door. Yuck. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

Yesterday the alarm on the F-350 went nuts resulting in it going in lock down mode and wouldn’t start. Unfortunately it was smack dab in front of the boat and job one was moving it out of the way. I hooked up a chain and Judith’s pulled me out of the way with the F-450.

I normally transport the ATVs on the flat deck of the F-350 but……… I hooked up the utility trailer to the F-450 and attempted to load the Can-AM. It is a tilt trailer and loading is supposed to be simple. Tilt the trailer and drive up on it and when it is loaded the wait of the ATV should force the bed in the down position. Should. It didn’t. I then tried backing it on. NADA. After an hour I finally got it loaded and tied down. It is never easy…………….

I dropped off the Can-Am at the dealership and the shifter jammed during unloading observed by the salesman eliminating the possibility of it NOT having a problem. They promised to have it ready when I return, from fishing, and should be able to pick it up on Thursday.

Next we went to U-Brew and bottled wine. We did three batches; two red and one white. Mike, the owner, is a great guy and the experience is always entertaining.

We decided to skip the Fall Fair, make a quick stop at Safeway and get home.

I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the Nice ready for the last trip of the year. This will make the fifth trip of the year, about half of what I made the first ten years. I really enjoy the chuck and look forward to showing Rick a new experience. He has lived here all his life, in this beautiful valley, and has never been out on the ocean.

Judith and I shared the cooking duties. I fired up the Tool Box Grill and cooked a rack of lamb. Judith cooked a pasta dish and served fresh green beans right out of my garden. Excellent.

After dinner, about the time it was getting dark, Judith and I headed for the entry gate to determine where the flood lights should be placed. I made a two light stand and hooked it to the generator. We determined where the eight lights should be placed; four on each side.

Tomorrow I’ll put the finishing touches on getting the boat ready and work in the garden. The backhoe is back on the Kubota and I have lots to do around the place.

25 Aug 2017 TGIF………..
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Elk came into this beautiful valley about the time we bought River House www.riverhousecanada.com in 2000. A few years later the herd was estimated at around fifteen. Elk are referred to as “ghosts” for a reason. While I always see signs of elk and catch them on the game cameras I seldom see them in the flesh. Two years ago the herd was estimated at over seven hundred and growing. In the past they started in the rut in late September to early October. NOT this year. The rut has already begun. They are bugling and raking bushes with their horns to remove the velvet and mark their territories.

Each year, about this time, Judith and I agree on our RVing schedule. Once agreed upon I create a spreadsheet and Judith starts calling and making reservations. I made the list early this morning and Judith started calling before lunch. In the past we almost always got reservations and in many cases in our favorite spot or space. NOT this year. Most parks are already full. I guess the vastly improving economy and 10,000 seniors retiring every day are causing the “problem”. Thanks a lot, Donald!

Andrew let himself through the entry gate using the entry pad. It has been a long time coming but with a few more tweaks and it will be more than I expected.

Job one was picking up rocks along the new entry road. We picked up four bucket loads of rocks from softball to larger than a basket balls in all shapes and interesting colors. I bought a dump truck load of large boulders which should be waiting at the entry gate when we return from the last ocean fishing trip of the year.

While I pressure washed the rocks and delivered them to the entry gate while Andrew picked up the last of the old barbed wire from the southern fence line. When he finished the F-350’s cup runneth over……..

After lunch we moved to stringing wire between the lake and river. We put a brace over the entry gate to the adjoining crown land along the river south of River House. We will soon have a trail system that gives us over two miles of river access by ATV.

At the end of the day Andrew agreed to take the F-350 home and stop at the dump and empty all the barbed wire which is about the same as empting a load of razor blades bare handed. I have new respect for barbed wire and those that hang it. Amend.

Judith won the daily crib game before I headed to Poker Night. Only six players showed. Fall Fair Weekend took its toll. I ended up losing fifteen bucks before heading back to River House at midnight.

Andrew arrives at nine and the goal for the day is finishing string wire on another section of THE FENCE.

24 Aug 2017 Let The River Fishing Begin…….
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Could This Little Rock Puncture A New Tire Made In Taiwan?  Ubetcha

Buddy’s right eye has now started to weep leaving that side of her face wet most of the time. She doesn’t seem to be in pain but……. It is never easy.

I was out the door well before eight to get ready for another busy day. I opened the gate for Andrew and Vern who was coming at ten to work on the jet boat.

Next I drove down to the river to install the jet boat’s battery before Vern arrived. When I stopped, near the jet boat, I heard a hissing when I turned off the engine. I soon realized air was rushing out of one of the new tires on my new ATV. I quickly rushed home to avoid a long walk back to River House. I checked things out and found a sharp piece of road crush had punctured my left rear tire. Really. Made in Taiwan!

Andrew came a half hour early. He never has a watch even though I have given him a half dozen over the years. I got him started cleaning up the southern fence line of all the pallets we used for delivering the cement posts as well as all the fence posts and barbed wire from the old fence.

I was at the gate programing the key pad when Vern drove in a few minutes before eight. Last year I bought a new jet boat engine which ran great except it turned sharply to the left if I took my hands off the helm while on step. I called the place that sold it to me and they didn’t have a clue. I didn’t have it looked at last fall because I didn’t want to lose any fishing days and the place I bought it is in Terrace, three hours away. I called Vern, who lives in Smithers and is considered one of the best jet boat repair guys around, and he came out early this spring. The river was way too high to safely test it out and put off a test until yesterday. He called several Yamaha dealers and they were no help. He then checked U-tube and BINGO. We went for a ride and within in minutes he made two adjustments and solved the problem. Thank you – Vern.

After Andrew finished cleaning up the southern fence line, which took two truckloads to remove, he helped me pickup rocks on the toboggan trail. I have the easy job driving the tractor while Andrew throws rocks in the bucket. While I delivered those rocks to the entry gate area Andrew widened the trail by clearing overhanging branches. Andrew worked an additional hour before calling it a day.

Judith and I ate leftovers and enjoyed a quiet evening.

Today Andrew will return and we will string wire on the southern fence line between the lake and river and will gather another few loads of rocks for the entry gate. I’ll give Judith a night off from cooking as it is poker night……

23 Aug 2017 Back to Fencing………….
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I was up again at oh-dark-thirty and took care of all my morning duties before Bob came down the driveway at seven. We loaded up a large cooler with salmon, smoked salmon, halibut and prawns before heading to the Smithers airport. Fog was down on the river making me wonder how the conditions were at the airport. This is the time of the year that a flight or two gets cancelled when fog is down on the deck. When we turned on Walcott the fog was as thick as I’ve seen but lifted as soon as we turned on Hwy 16.

We arrived at the airport at eight fifteen and I stayed with Bob until the airport office opened at eight thirty. I completed the airport paperwork for displaying brochures, in the lobby, paid a modest fee and left a hand full of both brochures. They monitor and restock the display weekly. Four or five private jets arrive each day, during the steelhead season which is about to begin, and the people in those private jets are all prospects to purchase River House. www.riverhousecanada.com

Next I dropped off the F-350 at All Seasons to have the transmission sensor replaced. They indicated the repair would take a couple of hours. I decided to hoof it around town to run a handful of errands. I stopped at the post office. A letter cost $1.10 to send within Canada. Next I stopped at Home Hardware, then went to North Central Plumbing to pick up a few more parts for the gas lights at the entry gate. My last stops were at the rental place and Lordco Automotive. When I was just a hundred feet from returning to All Season my phone rang. It was All Seasons telling me my truck was ready. Great timing…….

I stopped at the credit union and was happy with a 1.24 exchange rate. It was headed down but has seemed to stabilize.

I made it home around two and was pleased to have the gate open and close automatically. I changed clothes and grabbed Judith to help me put up some of the last cedar nailing strips. It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and we enjoyed riding around this amazing place.

I won the evening Crib game and Judith took on the cooking duties. I was in bed at nine after a very busy two weeks fishing and working with Bob. Bob has visited for the last seventeen years and has helped us with many projects. Thank you — Bob.

Today Andrew will arrive at nine. We’ll work on cleaning up the eastern fence line and also string one more section of wire. Vern, the jet boat mechanic, will arrive at ten and tweak the steering on the new engine. I’ll help both and start getting the Nice ready for the last fishing trip of the year next Monday, weather permitting.

22 Aug 2017 Goodbye Bob………..
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It is no longer light when I greet the day well before six. It is also getting dark about nine; Ole Man Winter is definitely on its way.

Buddy is still hanging in there with her daily routine. She is still eating which is a good sign and is enjoying a few hours, each day, out on the back deck where she is safe and can’t wonder off into the bush.

I made my to do list and another list of expectations I expect to complete before we leave in just eight weeks. The wild card is the selling of River House www.riverhousecanada.com . Do we winterize as we normally do or…………….. I’ll fly back to show River House, in all its Winter Wonderland glory, to any interested and qualified buyer.

I was off to Telkwa at seven thirty. Bob needed muriatic acid so I made the quick trip returning Leroy’s phone and getting diesel along the way.

The bears are hanging around evidenced by the nine calling cards they have left in the driveways. Bears are a big part of The Great White North and are high on most visitors want to see list………….

Job one for me was putting the finishing touches on the entry gate. With the help of good technical support at Mighty Mule I had the wireless pad programed and working in a couple of hours. Next I got the vehicle exiting sensor working which opens the gate when approached. Now that it works I need to bury it which will happen when I put the finishing touches on the landscaping. That will happen in the next couple of weeks.

Judith did the cooking duties; Sicilian meatloaf with carrots, peas and salad from my garden. We quickly did the dishes and headed for Ed’s place to play Hand and Foot. We quit after two rounds and declared Bob the winner.

Tomorrow Bob leaves on the morning flight. I’ll take him in and kill two birds with one stone getting River House brochures in the waiting area at the airport. With that done I’ll go to the repair shop and get the sensor replaced on the F-350. The repair is estimated at two hours. I’ll hoof it around Smithers picking up the last of the parts to install the gas lights at the entry gate while I wait. I’m not sure what the afternoon holds, however, it is about time I checked out the river with a few casts. Steelhead are entering the system. Heaven……….

20 Aug 2017 Busy Sunday………….
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Judith Next To The Bulrush Entry Key Pad Designed and Built By Rick Boonstra.

I started my day at five thirty. I did my frost and animal check. Nada. Frost is coming any day now.

I used all three hours, before Andrew arrived at eight thirty, to catch up after going fishing for three days. I waded through well over two hundred e-mails and found nothing earth shattering. Lots of Yelp activity thanks to Darrell. I’ve been so busy getting River House ready for sale I’ve neglected Facebook which I need to get back to when the smoke clears.

Andrew knocked on the back door at eight thirty. I had huevous rancheros in front of him by the time he poured his coffee. Bob joined us and we discussed the day. Job one for Andrew was getting the compactor and giving the ground around the wood shed support posts a good pounding. With that done Andrew and I headed for the toboggan trail to pick up rocks accomplishing two things; getting the rocks out of the trail and supplying Bob with rocks to put around the posts. We worked on that until lunch time gathering four full tractor buckets.

After lunch Andrew worked with Bob and I started processing fish. I cut up four for smoking, six into fillets and gave Andrew the last six.

Judith served dinner at six a full hour before we usually eat. The first of the poker players arrived at six. Bob went to the entry gate to let them in as we don’t have the entry code pad working.

We were one short of a full table of eight. We waited for Dennis to drive in from Babine Lake so didn’t get the cards into the air until seven thirty. I was short stacked early and was faced with a rebuy until I tripled up in the third round and then went on to tie for first pocketing eight five bucks. I wasn’t as lucky in the second game and finished out of the money. Bob and Leroy split first. The evening ended before midnight. Bob was a good sport and drove to the entry gate to let everyone out. I was in bed before they reached the gate knowing Sunday was going to be another busy day.

August 20th

I woke up at seven and made job one cleaning up the poker night mess. I boxed up all the empty bottles and bagged the uneaten potato chips. Next I packed up the poker chips and did the dishes finishing about the time Bob appeared at the front door. We discussed the day over a cup of coffee before starting our day. He sighted FIVE bears near the entry gate this morning around eight. That is very unusual; the most I’ve ever seen together, on the River House property, is three.

Job one was finishing the installation of a toilet in the River Cabin Basement. We roughed it in when we built the cabin seventeen years ago and even have had a toilet sitting in a box all that time. I helped Bob put down the subfloor then he did the plumbing.

Next Bob headed to the woodshed to put rocks on the support post while I headed for the shop to mount the key pad. Rick Boonstra designed and built a beautiful bulrush piece of art to hold the entry pad and perfectly complements Harry’s sculpture.

Judith helped me with placing the entry pad at a place where it will be accessible from a small car like her T-Bird and also a large truck like our F-350. Now the pad is installed we need to break the code to get in working. It is never easy…………….

Judith and I shared the cooking duties. I cooked salmon steaks over the Tool Box Grill while Judith cooked a rice dish and fixed a salad topped with crab from our last trip.

I’m not sure what to expect, here in this part of The Great White North, with the eclipse happening tomorrow. Tomorrow is Bob last day. My time flies. We’ll try to finish the rockwork on the woodshed and tweak the automatic opener on the entry gate. We did fish twice in the ocean but only got to the river once and didn’t fish.

19 Aug 2017 Poker Night At River House….
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I was up at five thirty ready to face the day. After almost three days on a very rocky boat balance is always an issue. The “boat” keeps rocking even though you are standing on good old terra firma.

Buddy followed me to the kitchen. She still looks about the same. Our fear is the tumor grows until she can’t eat. Her appetite is still good and she is getting lots of lap time. The world is unfolding as it should.

I went through a mountain of e-mails. Darrell is very active on the River House marketing program getting the word out to agents. With that done I started my daily to do list jotting down over fifteen items.

I did log on to Pokerstars and registered into a $3.50 SNG. I didn’t cash but enjoyed the mental gymnastics.

Bob came down at eight and we had a cup of coffee and discussed the day. We agreed to take care of the boat then make a trip to Smithers after lunch. I started to flush out the engines while Bob worked on hoeing out the inside. I processed the prawns putting over five hundred in plastic bags containing fifty each. Prawns freeze well and we’ll be enjoying these over the next many months.

Judith made one of her wonderful soups for lunch; a nice touch on a cold, overcast day. Yes, cold. Old man winter is coming and it showed with a dusting of snow on Mt. Hudson’s Bay. The leaves are already starting to turn and the geese are starting to fly south. It is hard to believe we have been here four months and there are only eight weeks until we pack up our dolls and dishes and head south as well.

The F-350 developed a trouble light as we drove in Thursday night and job one, in Smithers, was getting that checked out. I did and the problem is a transmission sensor which will be ordered and replaced Tuesday morning when I take Bob to Smithers for his flight home. It is never easy.

Bob and I made the rounds and bought supplies for a couple of projects; installing a toilet in the basement of the River Cabin and items needed to finish the lighting and landscaping at the entry gate.

We put processing the salmon on hold until tomorrow as we didn’t return to River House until almost five. Judith had dinner ready including the first of the green beans from my garden. I picked blueberries and cherries from my badly neglected garden. It keeps producing, producing, producing; damn the weeds…………

After dinner we played Hand and Foot and after three rounds Judith was light years ahead……

Today Andrew is arriving at eight thirty. After breakfast he’ll help Bob and me with a few projects then clean up the southern fence line by picking up all the pallets and old barbed wire. My Poker Buddies will arrive at seven.

18 Aug 2017 Very Wet Good Trip………
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One OF Three Traps–Lots Of Crabs

August 15th, 16th, & 17th

I was up at five. Job one was checking the weather. The forecast looked good for the Douglas Channel; light winds and some showers.

I checked my e-mails, wrote and posted my blog, said goodbye to Buddy and got the boat ready for Bob’s arrival at six.

Bob drove down the driveway at six and we were off a few minutes later. We quickly stopped at the entry gate and hooked up the solar panel. The gate opened and closed automatically. I love it when a plan comes together even if it is a few months behind schedule.

We stopped at Midway for fuel and it took over forty five minutes to fill the almost emply two hundred gallon tank. Next we stopped at Safeway to pick up groceries as there isn’t a really good market in Kitamat.

We were on the water a few minutes after one. The Douglas Channel was better than decent with less than a six in chop. It took one hour and twenty minutes to get to Helen Point where we put out our crab traps. We set the traps and let them soak for an hour. We were pleased with the results and kept six plump Dungeness crab; enough crab to eat for the trip. We could have easily kept our limit of twelve.

As we started further down the channel it began to rain, and rain and rain. As we approached Dillion Bay the winds kicked up causing 2-4 foot waves. We stopped at a point and caught our first salmon before setting out the pawn traps and anchoring up for halibut. After two hours, and no bites, we called it a day and anchored in a very protected area near our prawn traps. I boiled crabs which provided an excellent dinner.

August 16th

We were up at six. Job one was checking the prawn traps finding well over two hundred. We also found a BIG octopus in one of the traps. Its head was the size of a soccer ball yet somehow managed to squeeze through one of the three inch entrance holes. Its tentacles were about six foot long. We tried to put it in a plastic bag. It took him less than ten seconds to rip a hole in that bag. No Easy, Papa……. Next we headed out to the point west of Dillion Bay and quickly picked up our daily limit of salmon; eight. It was still raining with two foot waves making for less than perfect fishing conditions.

With our limit of salmon in the box we switched to halibut fishing and didn’t get a single bit all day. We checked the prawn traps twice more adding over two hundred.

By the time we called it quits at nine we were soaked to the skin by the non-stop rains. I always bring a change of dry clothes and should have brought THREE. I boiled prawns and pan fried salmon for dinner along with new potatoes, from my garden, and Bush’s baked beans.

August 17th

It was pouring when we started our day at six. We pulled on our soaked rain gear and made the ten minute trek to the point where we limited yesterday. Lots can change in a day and we were able to only boat one fish in well over an hour. We started trolling back to the prawn traps and pick up one more salmon and tried a new spot for halibut. Shortly after we anchored up the wind came up causing four foot waves and fishing miserable. As we were pulling up the anchor we hooked up another salmon. We picked up the prawn traps and head back to Hartley Bay through heavy seas. Bob piloted the boat and I rolled up the prawn trap lines and pulled the heads on another one hundred and twenty five prawns making our take for the trip close to six hundred.

The plan was to go back to the crab spot but we decided to abandon that idea because of heavy seas in the main part of the Douglas Channel. We decided to take a side channel which is usually much calmer. As we passed Money Point it looked fishable. We stopped and within ten minutes we picked up five nice cohos filling our trip limit of sixteen. I drove to a place called fishtrap, found a calm spot, and cleaned the fish while Bob cleaned up the boat. It poured and continued to pour for the next two hours that it took to get back to the marina.

We pulled out at four. While getting the boat ready for the trip home I noticed that my trailer license plate was GONE. I had no other choice than to drive home and deal with the situation if we got stopped. It rained all the way to Smithers. We arrived back at River House at nine, tired, still soaked to the bone but happy. We were greeted by Judith and all the lights turned on. Magic.

We quickly boiled one crab, had a cold beer and took a wonderful, long, hot shower.

Today will be another busy day. Bob has only four days left and a long list of things he wants to accomplish. I’ll work on processing fish, checking on the garden and helping Bob.