Sunday, July 28, 2013

Elk, Clams, and Bass

All right, already! I've been a computer lazy oaf since we landed in Lakeside, Oregon on the Ten Mile Lake near the little fishing village of Winchester Bay and a short ride north of Coos Bay. It's not that we haven't been busy. It's just that the things I thought I would be writing about this time of year simply are not happening this summer. Kinda strange. Like earlier in the season, not much in the way of a salmon run and still hardly any crabs to be caught unless you have a boat and can get off shore. I don't. So I can't. End of story. And the wind? Never stops for even a short while. Sand blasted on the beach when we go collecting kelp for our little craft projects, air blasted on the dock when we try crabbing, too windy to cast a line in to the surf. A tough gig on the coast so far this summer. But clamming has been OK, in fact we found a mess of Empire clams, better known elsewhere as "gapers" on the flats off the tip of, where else, Empire, Oregon a little known stretch between Coos Bay and Charleston, where the oyster farm is. They are big clams the size of your hand, give or take a bit; a might chewy but fine in chowder or cut in strips and deep fried. I just like digging them, even in the wind on a crisp cool day on the flats. They are usually arm-pit deep in mud or sand so when you do finally bring one up it feels quite rewarding.

When it has been just too windy to do much of anything else on the coast, we have headed inland, and driven along the Umpqua River until we come to a likely spot and then we get out and see if we can locate any of the Elk herd that frequents the area. Most times we do and they surely are beautiful animals. I like to photograph them. Admittedly I would also like to eat them, but hey! It's not hunting season and probably if it was, I wouldn't be able to locate them.

One day about a week ago we were sitting by our camp fire (a controlled fire in the pit despite the wind) and looking out over the lake. A whole host of guys with bass boasts pulled into camp, had some kind of a group meal by the boat house and then disappeared again. But early the next morning, and the next two days, they launched from the camp dock and headed out into Ten Mile Lake on what was a semi-pro bass fishing tournament. Each day at three o'clock they would come in with their "live bags" and weigh in up to five bass for the competition. Once weighed, each team took off again to release their fish in the areas where they had been caught. Normally on this lake a bass must be 12 inches to keep, but not more than 15 inches. For the tournament though, there was no up side limit because all the fish were being released alive anyhow. There were some beautiful fish brought in for weighing, and that was great, although just looking at those high tech bass boats was quite a treat in and of itself. None of this fold up on the side of your camper boats for these guys. Big bucks! (and no Chuck, my friend, I do NOT mean to say bulls this time).

Right now we are spending quite a bit of time each day on our kelp crafts. It's fun and it keeps us out of trouble and when people see what we are producing from what looks like seaweed rotting on the beach, they are a bit surprised. Me too actually.

Another week yet here and then on to Washington State. Looking forward to visiting with Derek and Karin and doing a bit of house hunting. Thinking the time is drawing nigh that Gundyville needs to have roots again instead of wheels. But we shall see what we shall see!

Slide show:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our New Fishing/ World Ocean Cruising Boat

Great news! As our land yachting of the North American Continent winds down, a new opportunity has arisen. So before leaving Gold Beach on the rugged coast of Oregon, we decided to purchase our next toy: a ship large enough to be used for deep sea fishing, crab pot hauling and world class ocean cruising adventures. The deal was just toooooo good to pass up, so we decided to make the purchase after giving it much consideration. And the owner agreed to let us keep her in her current location so we didn't have to move it and pay for weatherization and winter storage rates. True, it will need a bit of TLC, but her structure appears to be fine and we are really excited to get going in the Spring.

Those of you who have fished and boated with us in the past, get ready for some fun in the sun on the high seas coming soon!!!  I think our virgin cruise will be the Alaskan Inside Passage.