Friday, July 27, 2007

Turning Leaves

It seems like summer just got here and now I noticed that the birch leaves are beginning to turn already.
We have had a busy couple of weeks playing with the fish. My poor old freezer is full of salmon. Actually all of my three freezers are full. Moose season is less than a month away and I'm not sure where I'm going to put 700 lbs of moose meat.
I've been knocking the arctic char dead at Dolly Varden lake and Cooper Lake. Cooper Lake is by far the most scenic lake I have ever seen.
Today I loaded up ammo for my 375 H&H and Lin's 300 Win. Mag. The camper is loaded and the ATV's are ready. I have moose fever!
My neighbor called and let me know that a grizz has been wandering around the alders just below my yard. I just went out and locked the door on the shed to keep him out of my freezers. He'll probably just rip off the door. If I hear him up to it, I'll let the air out of him. Hopefully he won't come back up on my porch and raid my garbage can. He has a habit of not putting things back in the can once he has removed goodies. I'll let the air out of him for that too.I guess that's the price I pay for living in such a place where I'm not necessarily at the top of the food chain.Actually, the skeeters, gnats, and bears are ahead of me, along with those crazy tourists that are lined up on both sides of the river for miles. I've never seen such an infestation of wanna-be fishermen. It's a wonder the bears don't get more of them than they do, and they have already grabbed several of them.
I just finished a DVD of several fishing and clamming trips.
If any of you are interested, send me an e-mail at, and I'll send you one. They cost me $12 to produce and ship.
Well, it is getting dark now. The sun goes down at 10:30 tonight and will be dark until about 3:30 AM.It won't be long until the old "Cold Man Cometh".
I am looking forward to the snows. My wood pile is full and I'm ready for harvest time. Fall is by far my favorite time of the year. Mostly, the first frost will drive all of those hoards of flatlanders back down to what ever rock they crawled out from under.
I'll take the solitude of a frozen lake any day.

George"Bubba"Hunt, walking "The Wilderness Trail".

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Unforgiving Sea

I will never know why things go bad in a run of things. It seems like it really does turn ugly for days at a time.
This last week a big charter boat sank out of Homer where we go fishing. Luckily another boat was close enough to pick up everyone. Saturday another large charter boat went down in the same area. Yesterday a charter boat went down out of Seward. The crew was picked up in time also.
Yesterday I went along on as a deck hand on the 27 feet Sea Sport that we almost rolled over in a big wave last week.When we reached our fishing grounds about 30 miles out of Homer, we were making a turn and hit something that was submerged.
We were in 140 feet of water. None of us saw what we hit, but it destroyed the large propeller, which caused a bad vibration in the main drive.We had a small 10 hp outboard kicker for trolling, but it wasn't much power to push a big boat.We did manage to catch our limits of halibut before heading back towards Homer.
The main engine could only run at about 5 miles per hour due to the vibration.The only thing in our favor was the tide was coming in, which help push the boat towards Homer. The bad thing was that we had two rocky points to get around before we had any bays that we could run in to, in case the wind came up. The cripple prop would not have been enough help to keep us out of the rocks if the wind did start to blow.
With all of those good things, the fog dropped in and we could see only a short distance. It was a strange feeling being out in the ocean and not being able to tell which direction was what. I knew that Homer was North by North-East. I also knew the tide was flowing North. There were a lot of rocky points and rocky islands between us and Homer harbor, and it wasn't a straight line. My partner and I conceiled our concerns so as not to scare the others on board. We both knew it was going to be a long day.
We were one of the lucky boats with radar and an elite GPS system. We heard several "MAY-DAYS" from boats that were lost in the fog. The Coast Guard was out trying to find boats all afternoon.
The GPS lead us through the dense fog, around the rocky points and right into the boat harbor. It took us all afternoon to make the 30 miles back to safety, but we did.
I guess the thing that bothers me most is the fact that bad things are out there submerged under the waves. Things that cannot be seen and things that can sink a boat in 5 minutes.I don't like not being in control of bad things. I know boats travel out there everyday, and make it back safely.It's a game of chance. Most of the time it's fine, but sometimes it's not.
The 39 degree water is as unforgiving as an ex wife.
I am suppose to be going back out in a few days. Between now and then I'll be doing a little soul-searching. I made it out twice. I wonder if I can do it again??

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sometimes The Bear Gets You...

By some miracle I'm still here to spread my Bubba style smut.
Most of my adventures leave me scratching my head on how I managed to get away with a close brush with bad stuff. Some times it's a mad grizz, and sometimes it's a mad black bear. This time it was a 15 feet roller 4 miles off the coast.
The wind was supposed to be out of the south-east, not south-west. The south-east wind would have been an off-shore breeze that would not have messed up the waves. However a south-west wind would kick up some bad rollers that can go from nothing, to 20 feet in a minute.The wind switched so fast that it caught us in a place where we had no cove to run in to to get out of the surf. Heading to shore would have meant running into the rocks of vertical cliffs and sure death. The 39 degree water is fed by glaciers, and about 5 minutes is all it takes to stop your heart. Ugly thought, huh?
The big roller hit so fast that it turned the boat almost up-side down. It unloaded everything on the left side of the boat against the other wall. Including me and everything in the refrigerator. Luckily the Captain was not thrown from his seat. The second roller was almost as bad.We had to turn back into the rollers and head back out to sea.
It took a half hour to work our way behind an island where we were able to get into better waters, and work our way back towards shore.
We were in a 27 feet Sea Sport, which is as about as good a boat as there is. Any lesser boat would not have made it through the bad water, and neither would we.
Once I got my pants cleaned up, we did manage to catch our 2-day limits of nice big halibut and rock fish.Other than that little skirmish with an angry sea, we had a really nice trip.
We spent the night anchored in a beautiful bay surrounded by steep mountains with bears playing on the green hillsides.
I couldn't count the number of whales that we seen. One big fellow rolled so close to the boat that when he blew the air out of his head, it scared the snot out of me. I guess I'm getting a bit skittish in my old age.
These little adventure happen to those who live a bit far out on the edge.I doubt if I'll die with my boots off as some may do. I can't stand the thought of cold feet!
Just another day in paradise.
Bubba Hunt, walking the "Wilderness Trail".