Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Wilderness Paradise in Alaska

The harbor in Petersburg, Alaska looks right out of a postcard or a movie. It's that quaint.

We were headed on a seven night fishing cruise aboard a 54" boat around Baranof Island - north of Ketchikan and south of Juneau - in the area commonly known as the Inside Passage where many cruise ships pass on their way to Glacier Bay.



The next morning we awoke to rain and a socked-in sky with minimal visibility.  We dropped crab pots and took the dinghy across a tidal flat and up a river to a wide area across from a hunting lodge. We saw our first bear of the trip - a black bear that didn't look too happy to see us. Back on board upon seeing this rainbow we were sure the rain would end very soon.

A picture perfect sunset in Hamilton Bay. We enjoyed the view before dinner and settling in for the evening. Dinner was a delicious mix of shrimp and crabs we caught in the pots. 

    Our home away from home in the wilderness. 

The rest of the trip brought blue skies and mild temperatures - perfect fishing weather!

This is not a prehistoric creature it is a Lingcod, a fish common to these waters that grows to incredible lengths. We caught several (over 5 feet) that were too big to keep due to restrictions.

 It has a mild white flesh and takes on the flavor of the seasonings. This day we enjoyed it beer battered and fried. Yum!

We fished numerous bays and rivers - Red Bluff Bay, Red Fish Bay, Sandy Bay, and Whale Bay and hiked through a forest littered with bear scat up to a mountain lake dammed up by fallen logs. Here we caught a coho that we enjoyed as sashimi later that evening.

Throughout the trip we encountered nature in it's splendor - from a near 100 pound halibut that did not want to be caught to a grizzly feeding at the shore and catching fish at a waterfall as they tried to swim upstream.

 Note the bear that is fishing at the top of the photo.         

If you ever have a chance to visit Alaska go and be sure to spend plenty of time outdoors enjoying the scenery. You will be amazed by the abundance of nature and the sheer beauty.