Tuesday, August 25, 2009

slugs and more fish

"Look what we found Mom!!"

Sammie's slug friend.

Josh's Slug.

Ok we knew the fish in Alaska were supposed to be big, but no one told us about the slugs. Josh and Sammie couldn't resist picking these two up and playing with them for a while. Having never played with these slimy creatures before, I didn't realize how slimy the kids would get. Their hands were completely covered with a thick layer of slime. Water did nothing to wash it off. Soap just made it worse. So then, thanks to memories of an older brother's version of playing with snails, I thought "maybe salt would work". Nope! But I did find the solution. A dry paper towel or 5 or 6 in this case. This is not an activity I will encourage in the future.

This is one of Stewart's many silver salmon. He's getting really good at both catching and filleting them. Last week we got a permit to catch them with a net. So I finally caught some, but I don't think that really counts. But our nets weren't really meant for salmon and broke after a couple days, so now that's on hold till we get a new one.

Stewart started work this week, but that doesn't stop Caleb and Liz from taking their poles to the dock for some catch and release fishing. Today they met someone at the dock who offered them 10 bucks each if they would fill his cooler with black cod. They only got it half full, but they were very excited to come home with 5 bucks each for doing what they love. Caleb plans on spending his on a new lure. While Liz is being encouraged to save up for her own pole. (Caleb already bought one.) I think he's going to have major fishing withdrawals when school starts next Monday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More pics from paradise

We have heard a request for more pictures, so we're trying. But today Stewart and Caleb missed a really good picture opportunity. They went out fishing and left the camera in the truck. They had a young bear come out and fish across the stream from them (about 20-30 feet away). It was out on a log trying to catch fish and fell in and Caleb and Stewart watched it climb back up and keep fishing. Soon, Stewart caught a fish and the splashing got the bears attention and it realized how close it was to people and ran into the woods. I'm sorry I don't have pictures to go with that story, but here's what we do have.

This is Caleb fishing at the dock. He brought home around 30 black cod. He loved it!!

This is Sammie in her new rain gear.

Caleb sneaking up on a friendly deer.

Here is our first shrimp and crab. I decided that fresh shrimp aren't worth the work to get them out of the shell. Crab-even though it's more work- is still worth it. Liz and I were the only ones that ate the shrimp, but everyone except Sammie enjoyed the crab. We plan to get our own crab pot soon so we can catch our own.

Caleb has fished nonstop since we got here. This is two silver salmon and a rainbow trout. They were all caught in his and Stewart's favorite stream so far. It's about 20 minutes away.

This is the Trout. about 2 feet. And one of the Salmon. 26 inches.

Bowl full of Salmon fillets. These all got frozen. If we collect enough to fill a cooler, I might bring some to family in October.

These are a couple of random views we've come across as we explore our new home. It's extremely wooded. Fog is common, but we've also seen a lot of sunshine so far.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Arriving in Coffman Cove

We made it!! We spent two nights and two days on the ferry without anyone getting really sea sick. We got to our new home Sunday night. We saw quite a few deer. Does and fawns - no bucks. We spent Monday and Tuesday unpacking and getting used to the new house. Yesterday we drove into Craig and bought our hunting and fishing tags. On the way we saw a whale not far from shore. It came up and down four times in less than 10 minutes. And today we spent all afternoon out driving and fishing. We came home with four pink salmon - all Stewart's (Caleb did help reel one of them in). We love our new place so far. I'll see how many pictures I can attach.
We stopped at the space needle in Seattle. We didn't go to the top, but we enjoyed the view from below.
The kids favorite spot on the big ferry was on the lowest deck watching the water splash from the motors.
But they liked the room too. They loved hanging out on the bunk beds.
To entertain themselves, they played pirates for a while...
... then we watched fish jump for a while...
...then we painted our toe nails. We also played board games and did a lot of wandering around the boat.
We had a few hours to waste in Ketchican. There were three cruise ships docked, so wandering in tourist shops was definitely out. So we took a drive and found ourselves in a beautiful forest with little trails all around a lake. We hiked around for a while and then settled in for lunch at a picnic table in a closed area. When we were almost done a ranger came to tell us we couldn't be there, but he ended up giving us a tour of the local plants. We learned which berry's to eat and which plant to avoid and what to do if we do run into it. He also shared tips on how to tell different kinds of salmon apart. It was great!
As we were getting ready to get off the second ferry they had us go get in our truck because we were first in line to get off. As we were loading the kids in their seats, this guy opened the big door in front of us at least 5 minutes before we were actually docked. It was a little scary, but mostly cool.
These big patches of wild daisies are all over on Prince of Whales. As we drove from the boat to Coffman Cove, we saw great views, lots of flowers, and a few little does.
This is a little clubhouse that the darlings built right outside our house. They even left it equipped with toys. They also left Caleb a book of the tides with explanations of when and where to fish with the proper tides underlined.
These huge purple flowers are next to our house. I made the kids stand in them to show their size.

Monday night we went beach combing. We found lots of fun shells and a few dead crabs. This beach is less than 100 yds from our house. It's visible from the driveway.
This is the whale we saw on Wednesday. It didn't come up very far, but we enjoyed watching it.
This is today's fishing trip. Stewart is holding his first Salmon. It's not huge because it's a pink salmon -not a king- but from what I hear they are better eating. They were really good but I've never had king salmon, so I can't say.
This is Caleb pulling in his salmon. I didn't catch my own yet, but I'm not quitting yet. I did hook a couple but they got away.