So, I write about this in the hopes that I not only improve my own skills but I help other people too. Alaska may be what gets me...but I hope not. I went bear hunting out on Tutka Bay this weekend. We almost didn't get to go because the outboard on Jesse's boat was being stupid. Just as we were about to give up (after about 3 hours of screwing with it), I had an idea that actually worked. I think that is what I am most proud of (besides the decision to turn back) which I'll talk about. I'm not that mechanical and I don't have much patience but we figured it out. It was a gorgeous day. Flat calm. We made it to Sea Star Cove cabin with no problems. It is a beautiful little cabin built with Exxon Valdez settlement funds. I can't wait to take the girls there. We toured around around the bay. Didn't see any black bears. Did see eagles, including one catching a fish, porpoises, a coyote, sea otters (including a mom with a baby on her chest), ducks and sea birds galore and sea critters. We found sea caves and explored the Bay. Super beautiful place.
When it came time to go on Sunday the weather had changed. Dramatically.
While the water was calm in the Bay, out in Kachemak Bay, it was a different story. 8 foot seas. The skiff would go up a wave and bang! down. Sea water was crashing over the front. We were soaked. Our gear was soaked. Jesse and I looked at each other and took the skiff to shore. But it was not that easy. The waves were so large that they were swamping the skiff. With each wave the boat would take on water. Some of our stuff started floating out to sea. We had to manhandle the skiff onto shore to avoid a total calamity. We waited a while and decided to try again. So I literally threw our stuff in the skiff, including my now soaked sleeping bag, while Jesse tried to keep it under control. Note to self: get a dry bag for sleeping bag. We tried again. But no. The waves were crashing over the skiff. I was baling but we were taking on water. We could see was only 4 miles away. But we made the right decision. We could have easily been flipped or swamped. So we turned around and went all the way back to the cabin. We dried out and I spend the next 8 hours playing crib and drinking Canadian mist out of a pie plate.
A few lessons here. First, we had looked at the marine forecast. We knew the seas might be rough. So we planned for it in a sense. But not really because we had some inadequate gear, which we will correct before our next outing. We were ready to turn back, even though it meant missing a day of work. It would have been easy to push the skiff the last 4 miles. But it would have been dumb. Alaska may get me yet, but not today. And no fear: Alaska's wildlife is safe when I am pursuing it.


Justin T. said…
I spend the next 8 hours playing crib and drinking Canadian mist out of a pie plate.

You couldn't just drink out of the bottle?
Glad you made it back safe and sound. But not surprised you came back empty handed. ;-)
No JT: the bottle was being shared. Besides the pie plate was more fun. Bill: you jinxed us with all your negative talk.

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