Published: June 25th 2010June 2nd 2010 Lazy River
Halibut Cove, Alaska, USA
After a successful day of fishing (can you really call 3am to 9am a day?), Kel and I were excited to catch more fish. Fishing seems to be like gambling: once you’ve had even the smallest amount of success, you yearn to get another shot at it. Thus, we were looking forward to our day on the Kasilof (pronounced Cass-E-Lof) River doing more salmon fishing.
Unlike the previous day where we stood on the banks of the relatively small Ninilchik, today’s trip involved getting on a flat bottom boat and floating down the Kasilof. These sharp prowed, flat bottom boats are perfect for the task at hand because they are stable and have a shallow draft. Of course, Kel was excited to spend a day in a boat. Any type of boat floats Kel’s proverbial boat (get it…floats her boat! HA!)
We were partnered up on the boat with another couple from our cabins in Anchor Point and were accompanied by our boat captain who spent the day steering us with oars. His main job, the captain that is, was to teach us how to fish on a float-fishing trip. Unlike shore fishing, your main task
Anchor Point, Alaska, USA
is to be patient and just drop your lure into the water until you get a nibble. Thus the day looked like this: Captain
Drop your lures… Fisher-People
Ok (as we drop our lures in the water) Ten minutes progresses with no action Captain
Lift your lures, we’re gonna move… Fisher-People
Ok (as we lift our lures)
This practice of drop, wait, lift and move was what we did all day long. The gentlemen in the boat with us caught a ten-ish pound salmon and Kel caught a small salmon that was too small to keep. Other than that, we had a grand, lazy float down the river. In the morning we had some rain, in the afternoon we got some sun. All in all, we enjoyed the ride and got to see some beautiful Alaskan river coastline but it was not what I’d call exciting. Of course there are much worse things one can do with an afternoon than float down a river and pretend to catch fish… How To Fill A Free Day In Alaska
Interestingly there aren’t
that many ways to fill time in Alaska that are restful. Sure you can hike, bike, fish, swim, kayak or do any sort of feverishly exciting outdoor activity but, this extravaganza of activity is devoid of the restful sightseeing you could get in any major city in Europe. So, when it came to filling one of our two unplanned days we were without many choices.
But, have no fear, when the captain of Team Turner has her way and has full reign over our activity schedule, there will be activity. Thus, our free day became a trip to Halibut Cove, a quaint town across the Cook Inlet from Homer, AK. This town of 35 (18 households) can only be reached by boat and, during the winter, is almost completely isolated from the rest of the world. Due to high seas and cold weather, there are times when Halibut Cove residents have no place to go. As you can imagine, people aren’t flocking to this rustic retreat for permanent habitation. But, since it’s breathtakingly beautiful during the summer, they do get a steady tourist business that keeps the community running.
We took a ferry across Cook Inlet to the
Kasilof River, Alaska, USA
town and had lunch in their one restaurant which surprisingly is really, really good. And then spent two hours wondering the cliffside boardwalks that line the town. There aren’t roads, just boardwalks on stilts high above the water. Other than the restaurant there are a couple of art galleries and a coffee shop. One family has been in the cove since the late 1940’s when they homesteaded there. Think about that for a minute: this section of Alaska was so wild after World War II that people could come, grab up land, live there and, after a long enough period of time, were considered the owners. Alaska really is the last frontier of the United States. I can’t imagine there was any other part of the US that allowed homesteading in the 1940s and 1950s.
Halibut Cove isn’t an exciting place but it is an amazingly gorgeous place in good weather. During our time there the sun was high in the sky and the temperature was an unseasonable 70 degrees. During times like these you could really understand why people would want to live here. With water, mountains and green trees around, the town seems like a slice of
Happy Team Turner
Kasilof River, Alaska, USA
paradise. But, during the winter, I think this type of isolation is for only the hardiest of people. I can only imagine how hard a winter in a place like this must be!
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