Published: July 31st 2012July 29th 2012
First Catch of the Day!!!
We didn't keep this one. Had Aaron known he would have to reel in about 12 more fish and his arms would be mush at the end of the day, he might of just tagged this one.
DAY 32: SUNDAY, JULY 29: Today was a day we met with much anticipation...Halibut fishing out in the ocean. Ever since we googled "halibut" and found out what a crazy looking fish they are this is the one thing Maggie has been talking about doing since long before we left Whitehall. Well, the day is finally here and it is fitting because it is our last day here in the great city of Homer, so I feel like we are going out with a bang! Had I only known what was to come. Getting down to the docks at noon was the easy part. The wind and waves had really picked up fast...what they say here in Alaska about the weather changing in an instance is definitely true. We boarded a boat named Spirit, and I'd say all total there were probably 25 people going out on this charter. They told us we would be going out 28 miles into the sea to fish in depths of 200-300 feet for the bottom feeding halibut. It would take two hours to get out there, we'd fish for an hour and then a two hour ride back to The Spit. Well, that pissed
Brett off, only ONE HOUR TO FISH..what was the point in going. The ride out was great and didn't seem to take two hours and on the way we got to see puffins, a cute little black bird with a beak like a toucan. Something new to add to the wildlife report. When we arrived there were alot of other boats out there and it was exciting to see them pulling up fish. Now I am not exaggerating when I say the boat was rocking and the waves felt like they were 3-4 feet. The crew even had a really hard time getting the anchor down because of the rough seas. Later Aaron told me one crew member told him it was one of the roughest days they had ever had. YEAH! I can attest to the fact that Bonine works...I would have been puking before we even got to our fishing spot. Well, as soon as we went on deck Brett started feeling yucky and we gave him a Bonine too, but it was too late. Even when the captain had yelled that a whale had been spotted on the right side of the boat none of us could
Getting ready to fish
As you can see, the ocean behind us looks a little scary.
even look for it for fear of losing our footing and going over board. Once the fishing started ther was even more chaos...the boat was bouncing and they wanted all the people to rotate around the deck once you have caught a fish, and you are holding this huge heavy pole with a three pound sinker plus a fish on it. There was so much going on I didn't have time to be sick or get my camera out to catch all the excitement. Before you even knew it, Aaron had a fish on and Brett and Hanna were on both sides of him thinking they had fish on, and they could hardly hold onto the poles let alone reel in the lines. Of course, they warn hou ahead of time that if you lose a pole you buy it...i figured wed own three, maybe four by days end. Once you land one you need to yell, "FISH UP", and then a deckhand comes and helps you get it on board, then you must somehow maneuver to the back of the boat for more bait, and drop your line in at the back corner of the boat and work your
Here comes the first catch of the day.
way forward...all while the boat is pounding and turning on the waves. IT WAS NUTS... BUT FUN!!! Brett caught a big one, smiled for one quick picture and then that was the last of his fun. He was getting sick overboard real fast and Aaron and I both felt so bad for him because all we could do was watch because we were on the otherside of the boat fishing. By the time I could get to him he was done and I managed to get him cleaned up and inside the boat and told him to just go to sleep...poor Bretty Boy! Next came little Maggie's turn...she looked a little grey too, and before you knew it she was heaving overboard too, only she was so short it kind of came flying back onboard in the wind...yikes! They both slept it off while Hanna, Aaron and I fished for our lives to get our family limit of ten halibut. Hanna was amazing and caught and reeled in three fish all on her own. Aaron and I were so proud and amazed at her. Thank goodness we had her, her strong muscles and her strong stomach. You would not believe
how hard it is to reel that line up from nearly 300 feet with a fighting fish on. I could have sworn those fish weighed in at forty pounds, but Aaron said they were only 10-15 pounders, WHAT THE HECK!! When it was all over we headed back to Homer and the deckhands clean all those fish during the ride back. You are given zip ties when you board and every group has their own color, we were the blue family, and when you keep a fish they strap a colored zip tie around its tail fin. Once back on land, amazingly Brett and Maggie made a fast recovery and I never got sick. We were given our bounty of fish and went to a cold pack place right there at the end of the dock where they cut it and flash freeze it for you for $1.10 a pound. What deal considering we just don't have the facilities in the camper to do it ourselves. We needed up with 46 pounds of halibut and at a going rate of $18 a pound here in Homer, we heard it goes for $25 a pound in California, I'd say we did
awesome. We are going to ship it home and eat off it all year...well as long as it lasts anyway. We ended up eating at McDonalds because Brett and Maggie needed salt and while at dinner I asked them what they thought about the halibut fishing thing...Maggie gave it a thumbs down, even though I am pretty sure she still had fun and Brett said he liked it but it just wasn't what he had planned on. It sure isn't like any fishing we have ever done back home.
Total Mileage: 60 miles on a boat
Wildlife Report: puffins, halibut, and possibly a nearby whale
Funny: Maggie has officially morphed into a British Koala. I mean it! Seriously, the kid will not stop talking in a British accent and by the picture below you can see how hilarious she looks in that hat. Well, on the boat ride back to Homer she had us in tears with a conversation that went something like this, "Mummy, did you know Haana haaas a hermit craaab and his name is Hermie? You know, becaaause he is a hermit craaab.". I tried to my best to type this as the British
would say it, but I think you will need to read it out loud for the full effect.
Really Sad: while playing checkers late last night after the boat trip, Brett asked Aaron if he ever gets scared when he throws up:(((. My poor boy! Here we are out in the middle of nowhere on a boat and he is obviously scared about throwing up and his mom and dad can't do anything to help them because they are stuck to fishing poles across the boat.
There are more photos below