Dorkiest Catch

So we are back from our first crabbing trip on the boat. It was a great time.

We left late Friday, and had smooth waters out to the Locks. It was getting dark as we went, but we made it through the locks and to Shilshole by sundown. With just Yulia, Sasha, and myself on our boat, we had Sasha man the bow line. We were lucky to get sent through the small locks, and she was able to follow the instructions of the lockmaster with no problems.

Once we were at the guest dock in Shilshole it was late. We made a bite of food and just sacked out.

In the morning we made breakfast and were joined by PJ, who brought along bait and a third trap. He also had his fishing gear, as we planned to drop pots, anchor while they soaked, then see if we caught anything. We weren’t making big plans for catching much, but really just wanted to get out and see what we could find.

We headed just a bit north around the marina and looked for an area that wasn’t too crowded. We found a nice spot in a bit of a bay, and dropped our pots where we saw a few other folks dropping. Our first pot got it’s line tangled, and we lost it to the bottom. That sucked. The next two were fine, so we moved away and dropped anchor.

We set out some food, relaxed, and PJ started fishing. He was hitting flounder right away. We kept a big bunch of flounder, hit a few dogfish, and kept trying for salmon, with no luck. After a couple of hours we went back and pulled up the pots.

The first pot was full of crab! Everyone was excited, we went through the pot, and as expected most were too small or female. We had one keeper, and two males that were very close, but just under, so they went back too. The next pot had just a few crabs and no keepers. Even with one keeper it was fun, and Yulia was more thrilled about the flounder. We decided to head back, drop pots near the marina, and have some dinner.

We drove back to the marina, and found several traps set out there. We dropped our first pot, and got blown over the float. The line caught under the boat, and after a bit of wrestling, PJ drew the short straw, and dove under the boat. He found the line on the rudder, and once he was back onboard we gave him a shot of Rum and started the engines again. We dropped both pots without hassle, and went in for dinner.

Yulia set about getting the flounder ready. PJ cleaned the fish, Yulia prepped the pans, and I got the BBQ ready with vegetables (Roasted Portobello and peppers). Gena came over with Ribs and threw those on the BBQ as well.

The fish was great. Lots of bones, but fantastic tasting. PJ had to run after dinner, so Gena and I took his boat out to grab the pots from in front of the marina. The traps had a few starfish and some Red Rock Crab, but all small. One did pinch my thumb, but couldn’t get a grip through my glove. Still hurt like hell. I think he skipped across the water at least three times. We just headed back to have some drinks before calling it a night.

I boiled up the day’s catch as a late evening snack. That was some tasty crab. You can’t beat fresh from the sea.

On Sunday we packed up and headed back. We just missed the small locks, so had to tie up against the wooden railings out by the railroad bridge. It was low tide so we were crunching through mussels to find the tie downs on the wall. After about a half hour, we got the green light and motored into the locks.

It really amazes me how bad most people are at handling their boat. I’m not that great, but we watch folks spin around, go reverse by mistake, and pretty much everything else. Now I know why the state is starting mandatory licensing soon. Wow.

We made a slow cruise back through the Cut and Lake Union to Lake Washington. On the way back to our marina we anchored in Meydenbauer bay for a few hours to make a late lunch and swim. It’s a nice anchorage but the whole east channel was filled with waterskiers and tubers, so the chop kept drifting into the bay and knocking us about. Eventually we were too hot and tired to continue. We packed up and headed home.

Right near our dock we found a small boat ( a Cobalt – very expensive!) full of college kids, waving us down. We pulled along side, and they told us that the couldn’t start their engine, and needed Jumper Cables.

To my knowledge, they do not make 40-foot Marine Jumper Cables, but we tried to help, and their engine was cranking fine, but wouldnt start up. They said that they just filled up, so I figured that they had an ignition fuse or kill switch hit somewhere. The girl who was driving finally called her dad to help. We made sure that they were able to drift to a nearby dock for safety, as they had no anchor. (sigh) And no tow insurance (double sigh).

It was a great weekend overall.