The weather cleared a bit today (August 20) - enough to go golfing nine holes at Bridal Falls. Maureen hadn't golfed in a few years but she did OK (she wrote this!). She got some air and distance to her shots, didn't lose a ball or break a tee! It was fun.
August 21 we headed back to Pacific Border RV where we are now booked until October 12. August 22 was a day to do laundry and errands.
We (us and the boys) left bright and early the morning of August 23 for our fishing trip. We left from South Terminal at YVR at 9:30 a.m. We flew to Port Hardy, an hour flight on a 19-seat Beechcraft. It's like a flying cigar. Most seats have a small window but some do not. You can see everything the pilots are doing. At Port Hardy we switched to a 9-seat Grumman Goose seaplane (built in 1937). Sounds like a flying tank with a lot of vibration. The plane takes off on wheels and lands at the Lodge on its belly with a couple of floats coming down from the wings.
Our destination is Duncanby Lodge and Marina on Rivers Inlet.
Thursday - arrived 12:30 - had lunch - huge meals. Out on the water with Corey, our guide for the three days. His code name on the water is the "Franchise". We caught two Coho that afternoon, the largest probably 15 lbs. Our little cabin is really nice and only about a year old. It smelled like fresh cedar. There is a queen size bed and a bunk bed, with a queen on the bottom and twin on the top. No TV and no chairs to sit in. We borrowed a couple of deck chairs from others who weren't using them. Dinner was from the menu and was excellent, not to mention huge. An extra treat was some fresh caught crab delivered by the owner, Sid Keay. The sunset was spectacular. As you can see from the pix, it is an absolutely beautiful spot. It turned out that the server that brought us our meals for the whole trip, Caitlyn, knew Kelly and Aaron from Elgin. To bed early to rise early!
Friday - on the water by 6:15. It seems a bit like cheating that the guide baits the hooks and puts the lines down and does all the driving. The guys just had to reel in the fish. Corey is only 21 but is the top guide at the Lodge. This morning we went out further into less protected waters to go down deep for halibut. On the way we caught a couple of small Coho. No halibut but we got into a school of rock cod and picked up our limit - 25. These are great little fish to make fish and chips or fish burgers. Maureen didn't feel so great by the time it was getting closer to lunch so we came all the way in. Big rolling waves! After lunch the guys went back out and stayed closer. Larry picked up a 36 lb. Tyee Chinook which took about 30 minutes to bring in! Kelly and Aaron had to hold onto Larry as the fish decided to swim towards the boat and Larry had to reel like crazy while Corey had to speed up the boat so the fish wouldn't wrestle itself off the hook. The hooks have no barbs as barbs are illegal to use. Very exciting!
Saturday - on the water again by 6:15. Going out even further this time (about 45 minutes from land) to see if any halibut can be found. Maureen again declined to go. She enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and some great reading on the deck. To Maureen's surprise the guys were back around 10:00am. Kelly had become violently ill in rolling swells of at least 20 feet or more. During some swells we literally lost sight of the horizon and land. Thankfully we were in a 24' Grady White boat which is a deep sea vessel. We still managed to catch 11 red snapper and 2 ling cod while we were out there. Aaron and Larry went back out while Kelly slept for a while after crackers and ginger ale. Aaron and Larry were back by lunch time with nothing more, but they did lose two Coho fish off their hooks as they neared the boat. Excellent seafood chowder for lunch! Aaron's addicted to their Caesar Salad and has it at every meal. Everybody went out for the afternoon. Corey took us to Johnson Bay where grizzlies are known to hang out but we didn't see any. Kelly caught a nice little Chinook and that was it for the whole afternoon.
Even bigger dinner tonight - prime rib and Yorkshire pudding, preceded by more fresh crab and garlic butter and a lovely salad. Followed by the famous Duncanby milkshake with goodness knows what in them. Very good!
During happy hour, we sat with a couple we had become friendly with during the trip. They are from Osoyoos with a house in Calgary. With those locations you wouldn't think that you would know any people in common - right? Wrong! Turns out there son had been dating the daughter of someone we know in White Rock. Kelly went all through school with her and her sister. Our server is very good friends with one of the girls as well. Small world! Turns out we know Sid Keay, the owner of Duncanby, as a sponsor from Canada Cup Women's Fastball - he recognized us. The other coincidence today was that one of the dock guys, Riley, was from Estevan where Larry was from.
Sunday - a nice sleep-in day today. Our flight was leaving at 11:30. We were on a 5-seat Beaver floatplane to go to Port Hardy. Maureen does not like flying much at all but this was the most beautiful flight she had ever been on. When you're in a big plane, you cannot appreciate the incredible landscape you are flying over and especially those areas with no roads, you never see them. Something to consider: If ever we had a major oil spill (and every one is major), miles of beautiful, virgin shoreline would be ruined. It almost brings tears to your eyes.
We brought back 4 boxes of filleted fish weighing 100 lbs. So we figured that when the fish were whole we probably caught 150 to 160 lbs of fish. Great catches! We certainly filled Kelly and Aaron's freezers.
The flying cigar again from Port Hardy to Vancouver. Very smooth flights all around. Sid met us with our frozen, filleted fish at the South Terminal. He was a great host and we would highly recommend the Lodge if you enjoy fishing and something on a smaller scale. Check out their website at www.duncanbylodgemarina.com. The large halibut pictured on their site weighed in at 112 lbs - a record for the Lodge. We have pictures of it as well.
So we're back at Pacific Border until next Sunday, September 2 when we leave on our Alaska cruise for a week. You'll hear from us again after that.