Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Mrs. Phred's Fish

Homer, Alaska

Mrs. Phred stands by the rail with a three pound weight in one hand and a fishing pole in the other. We're waiting for the captain to find bottom in the ripping current.


 We wake at 4 AM to make the 6 AM departure. The sunrise over the Homer harbor and the mirrored water makes good reflections.


 After a two hour run out into Cook's Inlet we stand by  the rail waiting for the Captain to set the anchor so we can start fishing. The tidal current is ripping though at about eight knots.

 Mrs. Phred starts to shiver in the cold wind so I try to get in front of her and act as a windbreak....


Fishing is slow at first so Mrs. Phred looks at me curiously....I've told her that usually the halibut hit the bait as soon as you get it down 200 or 300 feet....


 She hooks a 20 pound fish and struggles with it, her bad foot and the three pound weight....


 "Please, casn I have another cracker?"


The deckhand asks her if she wants a hand...she says yes and he begins applauding  and whistling madly....sadism....



What a woman....


After a week of halibut fishing we're ready to ship a 100 pounds or so to our grandchildren....maybe I should send their mother a recipe book....


Up to Soldotna, Whittier, Seward, Anchorage, Talketna and Denali....that's as far as my plans go at this point in time...


Maybe I'll catch a salmon or at least find another reasonable fish market....


Monday, 29 July 2013

Homer, Alaska

Junk is Beautiful

After Ninilchik we go back to the Homer Spit for three more days of Halibut fishing.

Homer is maybe my favorite place in the world.

In the mornings before the afternoon halibut trips I walk about 2.5 miles down the narrow spit toward Homer and find a really photogenic collection of junk boats and recreational vehicles.


Someone has taken the trouble to collect flotsam and jetsam and arrange it into a form of primitive high art...


Or maybe I just like the look of junk?

I'm having a hard time remembering where we have been and what we have done on this long strange trip....


Memory degradation is subject to many natural processes: stroke, amnesia and Alzheimer's. Then there are the self interventions: drugs, alcohol and suicide....


I keep a blog so I can remember who I am...


I blog...therefore I am...

This is not my beautiful house....




Friday, 26 July 2013

Ninilchik, Alaska

 

The Flats are Paved with Clams

 


We always stop on the beach in Ninilchik to watch the clam diggers go way out on the tidal flats to dig clams.


 The full moon has created the monthly super tide. It is about a 30 foot swing here on Cook's Inlet in the Gulf of Alaska.


I buy a shovel and try my luck....


At times the mud makes walking difficult. I see one man limp to the rocky shore with only one boot....the mud has left him half barefooted...



I fail to recognize any clams and return with an empty bucket but with both boots.



The halibut boats launch just south of the Ninilchik Beach at Deep Creek. They launch and recover with the aid of a tractor.



I learn more about halibut. You can only fish for about 2-3 hours  during slack tides (high tide or low tide)....when the tide is ripping at 8 knots the 4-pound fishing weights blow right off the bottom...


Fishing is worst during the monthly peak tides, but better during high tide than low tide.


I schedule another Deep Creek  halibut trip for the morning  of July 30 when the tides will be both slack high and much less extreme...Also I book two more half day trips out of Homer....Saturday and Sunday....


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Seldovia, Alaska

A Yearning for Maryland Crab Cakes

What to do with the pound of frozen crab meat we acquired back in Valdez? Maryland crab cakes?


 We took the tour boat to Seldovia from Homer again it's a 2.5 hour ride over, 3 hours to look around and then the the ride back.....Seldovia is at high tide this time....I have some low tide pictures from 2005.


 Here's a low tide shot of Seldovia from our 2005 visit....


1 pound Alaska  crab meat
2 slices dried bread, no crust
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Fleur de Dijon mustard (or any poor substitute)
1/4 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

 Break the bread  into small pieces and moisten with the milk.

Mix with all the other ingredients. Gently fold in the crab. Only mix enough to combine ingredients. You don't want to break up the crab into fine shreds. Shape into 6 crab cakes, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Sauté until golden brown on each side. This will only take about 3-5 minutes per side.

Garnish with a squeeze of lemon.






 On the ride over you see wildlife like sea otters, puffins, seabirds, maybe a whale....the sea lions that were here last time have disappeared for reasons that are not understood...


 This RV is always right at the dock in Homer....the owner has a little vegetable garden. Note the twin salmon emblems above the front bumper...


We thought about taking the ferry to Kodiak. Unfortunately, one of the ferry boats is out of service so you have to wait two weeks to return if you go there by ferry....maybe we should check flights from Homer....



We find a man named Pearly on Seldovia....he has an old Dodge van with a cracked windshield and is trying to run Seldovia's taxi service....We negotiate a trip of about 20 miles along a gravel road and back...
 

Pretty flowers....


We pretty much get Pearly's life story....right now he is raising his granddaughter after the tragic death of his son and wife....he live in "the bush" before this so the 150 people in Seldovia seem like a lot to him....


There are 25 foot tides here...it's a full moon so they are higher and lower than usual...




Monday, 22 July 2013

Homer Spit, Alaska

The Gulf of Alaska


This is it. This is where I intended to go when we hit the road seven weeks ago. Homer is the halibut capital of the world.


Yeah, so I caught this big salmon up on the Kenai river after I replaced my fishing line. Wild salmon is ok and healthy, but all my best recipes are for halibut.


Last night we had ultra fresh halibut on the charcoal grill. I seasoned it only with salt, pepper and lemon pepper.


I'm going out again today and on Wednesday. Yesterday on the "Sizzler" I limited out with two big halibut in five minutes and watched all the bad fishermen struggle for the next two hours.


 The tides up here are about 25 feet.


The homer spit is a narrow strip of land about five miles long extending across the mouth of a bay at the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula. I think it might have been formed from the terminal morain of a big glacier...I'll check that later.