Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chronic MUD

My camera went for a ride on a 4wheeler. Got these pictures back after the quad got stuck in some chronic MUD! The big, mud, paw print in the middle is that of a bear. Most likely the mama blackie and her cub seen on the mountain side.

Today was cold, to me, and rainy to everyone. Turned on the heater in my truck today for the first time and in my house tonight for a bit. Just to take the chill off. So much for the last day of July.

I missed this in my Derby update yesterday after reading in the Anchorage Daily News this morning that a 340-pounder takes Valdez derby lead. The #328 pound halibut drops to 2nd place then. Big fish in Prince William Sound.

Monday, July 30, 2007

SS Derby Update 1

The summer of 1992 I was the Derby Clerk. I kept track of all the tickets, prizes and weigh-ins. What a job that was. I was also raising two feeder pigs that summer. Just for fun this year I thought I would do updates on the derbies when I can.
So far today it looks like #14.20 is the size to beat for the first place prize of $15 Grand in the Silver Salmon Derby. Still a #328.0 leader on the Halibut board.
Mostly cloudy day with calm seas. Yesterday big winds started up about 2pm. Almost a small craft advisory in the bay. The sea breeze normally picks up in late afternoons. Most boats are going out early. All the Silver Salmon Derby leaders so far have been caught off boats though I hear there are silvers being caught off the shore at Allison Point. Or Winnebago Point as the locals call it. Its a popular camping/fishing spot in Valdez.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crazy Days of Summer

I love it when the weather forecast is WRONG in my favor. It rained last night while we were sleeping but we woke up to beautiful blue skies. It can rain all it wants while we are sleeping. Mr. FishTaxi went for a ride on his motorcycle, then out to the shop, to replace the clutch on the ol' Chevy. I'm looking for somebody to take my paddleboat down to the harbor. I really need a small trailer for it. Then I can haul it when and where I want. Seems everyone has a trailer in town but they are used for dirtbikes, quads and whatnot and nobody wants to get rid of them. Anybody have a small, flat, utility trailer they want to sell? We might have to build one. Real quick!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Valdez Silver Salmon Derby Starts today!

Here is what the derby standings board looked like Friday. For the latest updates go the Valdez Fish Derbies website. August 11th is the Valdez Women's Silver Salmon Derby. Check out the derby site for details.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Small Boat Harbor

The sepia effect on a photo I took of Valdez harbor today.

Beautiful sunny day and could be nice all weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Old Snap Shot

Its so green around here we had to see what it looked like in gray scale.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My cup is half way up

Here is the deal. Once the Fireweed blooms to the top and goes to seed we have six weeks til winter. How it looks today we have two months. Give or take a few blooming days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Someday My Fish Will Come

A buddy gave Mr. FishTaxi a Copper River King (upper bag in left corner) and two Copper River Reds (bottom bag). That was nice. Not enough to can, though. So we vacuumed-packed the fillets. Last couple paydays I've been buying a couple of cases of cans at $40.00 a case. I could handle 30 Copper River Reds right now. Well, anytime soon!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Doggy Monday

This Hummer had Texas plates. They must have taken a wrong turn? harhar It was a cloudy, rainy day for picture taking.

This sunny picture was taken at Robe Lake last Sunday. The two Lab Retrievers are sisters. No relation to the mut.

This is my dog Roxy. She hates swimming, retrieving sticks, balls or frisbies. She has no idea why a dog would want to do those weirdo acts. Let alone work for a living like the K-9 unit!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nail Biter

Just when you thought you'd seen it all some tool maker comes up with this. A big magnet on wheels. Run it over the ground and it picks up all the nails and screws. A real nail biter.

Orca chomps fisherman's King

Warning: Graphic Language!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pink Sky at Night

Took this shot from my neighbor's balcony last night. It was a beautiful evening. Woke up this morning to clear blue skies only to have it cloud up by noon. It was a good day to work in the yard and clean the house. Tomorrow we are taking the paddleboat back to Valdez Glacier to do some goldpanning. Come back sun!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer Sandwich

Good ole BLT! With smokey bacon, vine ripe tomato, and crisp iceberg lettuce. Tim's Jalapeno chips, green onion, red radish and a kosher dill pickle on the side. Heaven on a plate in the good ole summertime.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fireweed Fever

The fireweed is over 7ft tall and almost in full bloom. Time to start gathering the leaves. There is some Fireweed Honey in my future.
Thats, Halfrack, the cat in the window. He will be 18 years old this fall and is still Trouble (his original name).
The weather has been summery!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bummer in the Summer

I am sad to report from todays Valdez Star (our lone weekly newspaper) the young black bear on our street has been trapped and dispatched.
I wasn't mad the bear knocked off my driver's side mirror. It was my own fault for leaving potato chips on the seat. The bear didn't do anything wrong. And now its gone.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Simulated Snow

There is so much cottonwood seed drifting around Valdez town. Some lawns look like there is a dusting of snow on the ground. Cottonwoods in the air blowing everywhere.

Yesterday, Valdez reached a high of 76°! Officially 72° at the airport. Today was overcast with a sprinkling of cottonwood seeds.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A good place to be

Robe Lake on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Grilling and chilling. With the paddleboat, friends and dogs.

The GPS was right on where the duck eggs are. We coasted in quietly just to take a photo.

The lilly pads.

Lots of pods.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Best Shot

Our hummingbird feeder has been pretty active the last couple of weeks. The hummingbirds are small and not very colorful which makes me think there is a nest near by! This is my best shot taking a picture of the flighty hummingbird.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ready for Reds

I'm really enjoying my new job hours. I like getting off work at 5pm and having weekends off. This weekend I don't have anything planned except "getting ready for reds." Washing floors, walls and shelves. All the coolers are cleaned and ice made. Propane bottle is full, water is running strong and my toy truck's gas tank is full. Filled it up today for $46.00.
Cases of salmon cans are 40 bucks at Carrs/Safeway in Valdez town this year. Thats empty, so a lot of folks are going to jars. The only thing I'm putting in jars this year is Fireweed Honey and Yardberry Jam. I'll stick with freshpack reds in the can.
Dinner last night was so good I had to take a picture of it. And today the Nanuq was gone.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

the Nanuq

Yesterday, the Nanuq docked in Valdez. I could see the wheelhouse from across town and went down to the dock to check it out. I found out that the Nanuq is a Shell Oil spill response vessell making a publicity voyage around coastal Alaska. From Valdez, she's sailing to Kodiak, Dutch Harbor and all the way to Prudhoe Bay.

I was told by the videographer on board that today there was going to be an "open house" to the public. I had to come back for the tour today. Apparently, the flying bridge looks like the bridge of a space shuttle. When I arrived today the whole dock was blocked off to the public (minus the ferry dock) and the public was not allowed. The tour was by invitation only and the FishTaxi was not on the long list of panjandrums.

Good thing I got a lot of pictures yesterday because this was as close as I could get today (with telephoto).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Weed Whacker

This weed whacker (dressed safely) is clearing out some weeds in our yard to park a Fairbanks based Thunder Jet boat for silver season. This way the owner doesn't have to drive it back and forth every weekend or pay for drydock. Only stipulation: Take us fishing!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Shoes

These are great summer shoes. If you do not have a pair yet, go ahead, pick a pair up. They're cheap, made in China and surprisingly comfortable, for plastic. With or without socks. Your feet will be happy. There are other colors besides army green!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fireweed 400 2007

The Fireweed 400 is a bicycle race from Sheep Mountain Lodge on the Glenn Hwy all the way to Valdez. When I left Lake Louise Saturday and turned left on the Glenn Hwy towards Valdez at Milepost 159 the bicycle race was on.
I followed hundreds of bike racers and their crews all the way to Valdez. Some were on their way back by the time I got into Valdez. I snapped a pic of this racer out of my window driving down Thompson Pass. For more Fireweed 400 race photos click HERE.

I saw lots of vehicles last weekend with kayaks and canoes on top but I was the only one with a paddleboat.
Last night the local juvie bear tried to get in the front seat of my truck with an open bag of Tim's Jalepeno Potato Chips in it. THe windows were rolled up and the only damage that was done is the bear knocked off my drivers side mirror. Thats nothing compared to my neighbors small car. The top is smashed in and the bear used it as a slide and wiped out the windshield wipers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Water Skiing At Lake Louise

This water skiier was great entertainment at the LAKE this weekend. I took a video of him taking off water skiing but it didn't turn out too well. Another friend there took 3 takeoffs with a real video camera and when he uploads them to YouTube I'll let you know. You can see mine here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNn0Tu_17p0.

We had a great time at Lake Louise despite the weather and bugs. The water skiier took this picture of Tanner and I on the LAKE.

Here is the same water skier trying to splash us in the paddleboat.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

This little guy was adopted from India when he was around the age of one. Isn't he a doll? He is very well mannered and seems to smile all the time. Not just when his picture is being taken.

We had a little BBQ down on the city dock today. Just after this picture was taken, and the beans and dogs were ready to eat, it started to rain. So we hurried up and ate then packed up. Got my clients home safe and warm and took off work early. So I could come home and pack for Lake Louise! The Fairbanks clan are already there and hopefully staked out our camping spot from last year. As soon as they call I'm out of here for the next 4 days. Mr. FishTaxi has to work so Roxy is staying home with him. I'm taking the paddleboat on top of my toy truck. I can't go to Lake Louise without it!
Happy Independence Day America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pinks and a Blacky

The pinks are here! Saw these anglers cleaning their catch at the new, efficient, Valdez Harbor cleaning stations. The humpies are running 33% female which means almost at the peak of the run. 50% female is the the peak. Saw a purse seiner fisherman today and he said they shut them down and the fishing was good. If you are in to fishing bright pink salmon now is the time. Caught this bear on camera crossing the road in front of me driving down my street. I stopped, rolled down my window while grabbing my camera, in time to snap a picture before the bear dissappeared into the woods. I have no fear of bears when I driving.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Whistling in the Wind

Not too much fish action on the dock today. I guess last weekend quite a few pink salmon were caught right off the ferry dock. Today, the cost recovery purse seiners were hauling in the humpies in Port Valdez.

It wasn't raining, it wasn't blowing and the fish weren't biting. A good day on the dock on the bay.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Casting Call for The Alaska Experiment

Ricochet Television, the producers of major network television programming (Supernanny/Fat March) are searching America for daring men and women to take part in a brand new adventure docu-series for an undisclosed high profile cable network.
The television series will be shot on location in Alaska and is about survival in the great outdoors.Producers of the new show are casting pairs and trios for this unique opportunity to swap their current life for an environmental experiment.
Once selected, the cast will be assisted by a wilderness survival expert who will teach them basic skills in building shelter, preparing for the cold, gathering food, and hunting.
America will watch as each team triumphs over the land to achieve personal and team goals.
Do you have what it takes to survive in the unpredictable world of wild Alaska?
To apply click here.