We left San Luis Obispo just after 1AM for our early morning flight from San Jose. This put us in Ketchikan by noon and we quickly provisioned, then exited Bar Harbor Marina SW bound to Cape Chacon and Prince of Wales Island at 2:30PM. We're taking the "open ocean" route to Sitka: that is outside POW Island, past Craig, across Sumner Strait, around Cape Decision, across Chatham Strait, around Cape Ommaney, then up Baranof Island's west coast to Sitka. It's the shortest route, affords plenty of fishing opportunities, but exposes us to the bumpier ride of unprotected Gulf of Alaska. Good weather should help us out over the next several days.
Our crew for the next 10 or so days is Gerard Ages and Ken Bruton, both of Los Osos, California. Gerard is an old friend and general contractor who has completed several real estate projects for us. He's also runs his own fishing boat out of Morro Bay and is quite successful. This is about his 4th cruise on the Wild Blue. Ken is works as a project manager in general contracting for the service stations in the Central Coast area. He also does lots of ocean fishing in and around Morro Bay. We look forward to being in the rough and tumble Gulf of Alaska with these experienced mariners.
|The open ocean route from Ketchikan to Sitka.|
Just after sunset at 10PM we anchored at the S end of Hessa Island. This is a calm, quiet, and sheltered spot. We quickly dropped off to sleep having been awake the last 22 hours.
|Sunset at Hessa Island off the SW coast of Prince of Wales Island|
Thursday, May 29, 2014: It pays to be kind.
At 10AM up Tlevak Strait, we received a call from the tug Avery O which was crossing us. Wild Blue being on tug Avery O's starboard side meant we had the right-of-way. At less than 6 knots this tug had a big load, so we offered to change course saying "We're just pleasure boaters, and you're a working tug." His response was "Thanks, and if your pleasure is fishing, you're about to pass one of the best King salmon areas this side of POW Island. The S and E sides of Jackson Island are it."
By the time tug Avery O crossed us, we had trolled for 20 minutes and landed our first King of the season. We quickly called back the tug and thanked the skipper for his tip. It pays to be kind!
|After we allowed Tug Avery O and her barge to pass in front,|
her skipper alerted us to the great fishing spot
we were just passing. We immediately stopped, began trolling
and quickly landed three huge king salmon! It pays to be kind.
|Don't miss Jackson Island King salmon fishing zone when in Tlevak strait.|
After three fish in the box we again moved up the Strait to Soda Bay, located just before the Tlevak Narrows, and anchored in Shelikof Island's fine bay. We sent the crab traps, dined on BBQ fresh salmon, and promptly dozed off.