So as of this week, I’ve been up here at the lodge for a month. What a month it has been. I’ve heard from people the first month you spend up there feels like six, and they sure weren’t lying. It’s definitely been the longest 4 weeks of my life. Getting used to life here definitely has tested me in every way. It finally has gotten to the point where I’m feeling that I’ve gotten into the swing of things however.
There’s a lot of stuff I miss like my podcasts, watching movies and my favorite shows, and just generally feeling like I have control over my life. I really miss my truck, and I find myself daydreaming about all the places I’ll go when I get back to the world. There is something so liberating about being able to go get in your vehicle and feeling the miles slip away under your wheels. The Beast and I are going to have some good times out in the desert when I get back, that’s for sure.
So like I stated in the title, salmon season is in full swing here. Pink and chum salmon are coming into the dock in great numbers. The halibut are still going strong as well. It’s now my sole responsibility to do all the numbers and packaging of the fish so I keep close tabs on our catch day by day. We’re averaging around 200 lbs of salmon and 100 lbs of halibut coming in every day. Those are just the fillets, those numbers are half of the gross weight of fish the boats are bringing in. The silver salmon are yet to run, I hear the weights will go way up when they do. They average 10-15 lbs apiece, while the pinks average 4-6 and the chums are like 6-10. We have a limit for guests to hold them to only 6 per person, which is good or else we’d be down at the dock processing fish all day and night!
It’s astonishing how rich the waters up here are with salmon. They are everywhere. I’ve actually learned about a species of salmon I’ve never heard of. They are called white king salmon. The boss got a couple boxes from his friend in town and we processed them out the other day. They look like regular salmon execept they are completely white-fleshed. These species of salmon exclusively eat shrimp, which accounts for the white color. It’s really weird to see white salmon! I hear it’s fantastic eating but I never got to try any. I guess we had some high-dollar guests staying with us that only wanted the finest food so the boss obliged them with that. He was like a kid on Christmas when he got those boxes though, so I bet that it is some tasty fish!
In salmon news, I heard a story from one of the captains I thought was intriguing. He once worked at a cannery up north somewhere processing king salmon. One day, this behemoth of a king came into the cannery he said was over 100 lbs! There were some native guys there that told him that it wasn’t just an outlier, but there is a sub-species of king salmon that grows to that size regularly. Or rather, used to grow to that size, as they said its range was small and they’ve pretty much been fished out. I can’t imagine a salmon being that big. Around here they top out at around 30-40 lbs, but since they are protected in this area they must be released if caught. The king salmon in the featured photo is in our dining room, and it is the biggest one I have ever seen. It must have been around 50 to 60 lbs or so. To think of a 100 lber just boggles my mind!
For my day off this past week I really wanted to go salmon fishing. The day before I went however, the lead captain had his arm pulled out of the socket by a huge halibut he was trying to land in the boat and was laid up. I didn’t get a chance to ask him if I could go, and I don’t think there was a boat available for me to go out on anyway. We’re now at maximum capacity with our guests and all boats are booked all the time. Pink salmon are starting to show up at the dock however, so I might not need to go out to the fish, they may come to me! A co-worker saw them hit a bait-ball at the dock yesterday. I placed an order for some salmon spoons a couple of days ago, they should come in next week. Hopefully they arrive so I can get to fishing! The mail service has been erratic as of late so I’m crossing my fingers they’ll show up.
In other news, we’ve been getting a lot of traffic into the bay from yachts and sailboats. I guess this is a popular anchorage for people traveling the Inside Passage. Occasionally they drop in for dinner and are really interesting folks to talk to. They are mostly flagged from the US and Canada, but every now and then we get someone from far away dropping by. The other day we saw this enormous ship coming our way. One of the captains said it was the Russians, as they are known to ply these waters in their great big yachts.
As they passed by the dock, we were shocked to see how big this ship was. It was the biggest yacht I had ever seen, there’s no telling how many millions of dollars the thing was worth. As it passed we saw that it was a Bikini Island flagged vessel. I didn’t think there was that much money there! Maybe it was just registered there and was from somewhere else, who knows? It definitely was the talk of the lodge that day! They spent the night in the back bay and left the next day. It was a great mystery all in all.
That’s it for this week. Hopefully I can get on a boat next week and have some salmon pictures to show ya’ll. Until next time!