Friday May 15 – Cruising Day 62 Homer, Alaska

IMGP4765 This morning we sailed into Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska.  It’s known for its fishing industry and we saw many cars with bumper stickers "Homer a quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem".

This is such a lovely town (definitely not a city) and very picturesque.  It’s an artist’s haven and there’s a lot of fine art galleries in town. 

Today Gerrit and I did a separate trip.  It’s the first time in our voyage that we went our separate ways.  Some people we’d met on board were talking about the on board fishing trip being cancelled (partly due to the exorbitant cost of $500US per person for 4 hours) and we decided to charter a boat ourselves (if we could get 12 people).  No problem.  Bill Delany (wife of Jole) and Pat (wife of Gerrit) went fishing for Halibut and Gerrit (husband of Pat) and Jole (wife of Bill) went to Seldovia.

Pat’s Day – Halibut fishing. 
IMGP4771 We met up with our fellow fisher persons at 8:30am and headed to the charter company about 1kilometre walk.  Along the way I pass a lovely memorial dedicated to all lost fishermen.  Homer’s first know residents were Pacific Eskimos but Dena’ina people later followed.  A prospector called Pennock and his hopeful gold seekers arrived in the 1800’s but after a brief "rush" coal was found IMGP7423 instead.  He was a bit of a scoundrel to many people and left for Skagway leaving his followers and a mound of debt.  By the end of the 19th century American firms were loading black gold on the states first railroad.  The 7 mile tract connected the nines with a large wharf.  Eventually the seafood industry that drives the contemporary economy emerged.  Few of the original buildings survive but one remnant of the coal days is a preserved section of the Salty Dawg Saloon.  Sitting on a hydro pole next the the Salty Dawg Saloon was a huge Bald Eagle.

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As we got to the charter we obtained our fishing licence and paid our $130 US for the 6 hours we were going out.

It was just amazing.  The seas were a little rough but Captain Sean of the boat "Irish" certainly knew where to find the Halibut.  We motored out for about 1 1/2 hrs and dropped anchor.

IMGP7463 Almost immediately I caught a 30lb Halibut.  Oh my goodness, the strength it took to bring the little or huge fish in was just extraordinary.  About 30 minutes later I caught my next fish which I tossed back – it was UGLY.  I caught several smaller Halibut but tossed them back and finally with about 20 minutes to go I caught my 2nd large Halibut.  It was a 24 lb and a real beauty.  I was IMGP7448 just so thrilled.  The seas got really rough and at one time I had to feed the fishes.  Once that little task was over I went back to fishing.  Everyone had the opportunity to catch only 2 fish which we all did.  Our 2 crew Jose and Amy then proceed to fillet the fish for us to take back on board the ship.  It was a wonderful day, but I got very cold and couldn’t stop shivering on the way back to the ship.

Once on board, we gave our bags of fish to the dining room managers who were going to keep it safe until we decided what to do with it.  I then went to our cabin and took a very hot shower and got into bed to warm up.  Gerrit and Jole came back about 20 minutes later.

I made plans immediately to have Bill and Jole for dinner at the Pinnacle for tomorrow night (our day at sea) and we’d have chef Ben fix us some Halibut dishes.

Gerrit’s Day – Seldovia

IMGP4773 I (Gerrit) should have written more at the time but now sometime later the details escape me. We boarded a catamaran type power boat for a tour of some of the islands and coastline before heading to Seldovia. Not very warm, most people stayed inside the cabin. But the view from outside was much better for photographs.

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IMGP4803 Birds everywhere! We first went past one island that was covered with birds. After passing several more islands we followed a beach section on the lookout for sea otters and sea lions. Several were spotted, we have been fortunate in every port in Alaska to see local wild life.

IMGP4896 Seldovia itself is a small town, supported by fishing and tourism. It was raining when we arrived (what else is new in Alaska πŸ™‚ but were warmly met by a rock group performing under tarps. Inside the cabin was a good selection of grub and hot coffee. The town itself reflects the tidal waters it is built beside. Many houses are on stilts, with boat docks rising and falling with the tides. If you don’t like climbing stairs you need to learn the tides πŸ™‚

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