We busted out of Sand Point yesterday. Not much of a bust-out, just the 15 miles across to Balboa Bay on the mainland. But a northwest wind does funnel out of that bay and straight into the face of an entering boat, as we were warned.
But we got here, soon enough, and all the family felt the relief, as much as we liked Sand Point, at being off on our own again in some miracle of a western Alaskan bay that we had never seen before, all by ourselves.
And, in that quick dash out of town, I got yet another chance to reflect on how much I enjoy running a boat with Alisa. Whatever else we may be good for in life, the two of us can certainly get a boat from one place to another while keeping family life humming along.
We found an open spot in the field of Dungeness crab pots that covered Albatross Anchorage, where we dropped the hook.
This morning dawned, our eldest's 12th birthday. And, for the first time on a sampling day since Agripina Bay, which was quite a long time ago indeed, the sun shone.
We Galactics like to make a big deal out of birthdays. Elias had a slice of salmonberry pie for breakfast.
The tide being conveniently late in the day, Elias and I sallied forth on a fishing expedition before the day's beach seining began. We fed the biting gnats, and watched chum salmon milling about and leaping from the last salt water they would ever see, just off the mouth of the creek they would ascend to spawn and die. Just out of our reach, maddeningly to Elias.
We visited the spot where a brown bear had dug so powerfully into the gravel just above high tide line, and I picked up a matted ball of the bear's fur. What had it been digging for?
We fed the biting gnats. We pursued dollies in the creek. With some gentle urging from me, we got back to the Mothership for Alisa's promised birthday brunch. Nothing eases memories of gnats that bit and fish that didn't like the smell of bacon and pancakes wafting over saltwater.
The seining went swimmingly, after a shaky start essayed by too much eelgrass and a net rolled in on itself until it had the fish catching ability of a rope.
We could actually see the mountains above us for a change. Eric and I went the day without rain jackets, braving the world in only our waders, thermals and lifejackets. Elias, enjoying a special birthday dispensation, brought along a fishing rod to cast for dollies while Alisa and I worked up the seine catches.
Though he was refused permission to take the dinghy on "short" fishing trips while Alisa and I worked.
This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!
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