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Planning Your Trip
What to Expect
There really is no better way to see Southeast Alaska, but it is not for everyone. Some folks are better suited to lodges or weeklong trips out of Seattle. Our boat is small enough to smell the whales breathe, but large enough to live on in modest comfort and safety. While others are at the lodge for 16 hours a day talking about fishing, we are doing it!
There is much to see if one passenger is not really into fishing. It does change the trip a little as mom may resist the boat firing up at 4 A.M. and fishing until 11:00 P.M. What we see most are one or two couples or three guys, as the boat is best suited to this arrangement. There are enough whales, eagles, sea otters, porpoises and sea lions to keep wildlife and camera buffs busy and distracted while dad fishes. With daylight coming early, it is also possible to get a lot of fishing done while some of the party sleep in. If planned ahead, we can bring a raft so some of the party can beach comb while others fish. There are no brown bears here, and that makes hanging out on beaches much safer.
Your Catch
I will fillet and prepare your fish. We can freeze the fish on the boat, but will take it to a commercial processor for vacuum packing on your last evening on the boat. Halibut regulations have been changing every year. For 2012 we expect to have one fish a day under a length of about 45 inches and can have an additional fish over about 68 inches if you can catch it. If halibut is desired in any quantity, we will have to drop fish off to be vacuum packed and frozen every other day due to new fishing rules. I strongly recommend vacuum packing whether here or when you get home. Crab meat does not freeze well. If shrimp is peeled raw and vacuum packed, it will keep well for long periods similar to halibut.
Expect a little less tonnage in June and more in August. You do not have to take a bunch of fish, you can can catch and release to your heartís content, or concentrate on one species.
Clothing and Gear
Rain gear and rubber boots are smart to have along if you wish to go ashore, but if not, the rubber boots are not necessary. The inside of the boat is dry and warm, and there is no need to stand out in the rain for long periods of time. I tend to figure it is a good time to troll for salmon if it is raining, and time to halibut fish when the weather is good. A set of raingear can double as a wind breaker and keep you warmer when out on the deck.
Layers are the best bet. It will be in the 50ís at night and in the 60ís during the day. It is alittle cool to survive in a t-shirt, but often too warm for a coat. Bring along comfortable non-marking deck or tennis shoes. You do not need a lot of stuff. There is no extra space for large suitcases on the boat.
Sleeping and Showers
We provide sleeping bags and pillows, towels and shower supplies. There is a bathroom, but no shower facilities on board. Normally, people shower on the last evening or morning. On trips of 4-5 days we can come in during the trip for showers and to drop off fish if desired. There is a shower available on the night of arrival and the night before departure.
There is room for two in a v-berth and for two more in the dining area on medium firm cushions. There is a curtain for some privacy to change and a bathroom.
It is just a boat. If you have special dietary needs or food preferences, they will not be on the boat by magic. I have to know in advance if you only eat one kind of rice, hate fish or are lactose intolerant. We canít go to a town during the trip if we forget something.
We do get trips where people really do not care to eat seafood and we can work around that. We will stop at a store on the way to the boat for beverages, snacks and any last minute needs. It is not uncommon for the store not to carry something you really like so do not be afraid to pack a few comfort foods that might not be in a small grocery store.
Normally, we eat what we catch, keep snacks out most of the day, go fairly simple on breakfast and lunch and run pretty long days. Decisions on meal composition are a team affair and will vary with every trip. Breakfast might be eggs, sausage and potatoes, cold cereal or bagels, cream cheese and crab and fruit. Lunch is generally soup, sandwiches or maybe a crab salad. Dinners can vary, but generally we go with a seafood theme. Fried halibut is a mainstay, barbecued salmon is great, shrimp and Dungeness crab can fit in anywhere, and we make a pretty mean seafood chowder.
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