Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 49 of Our RV Journey to Canada & Alaska 6/30/14 - Roadtrip to Kenai, Alaska

This morning, the four of us got together and went on a roadtrip to Kenai.  First the guys went to a charter fishing business and lined up another fishing trip.  I think they both really enjoyed their day of fishing yesterday, even though they had hoped to bring home a bigger fish.

Before leaving Ninilchik, we went to The Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church.  It sets high up on a bluff overlooking the Ninilchek River, and in the right weather condition Mount Iliamna can be seen from this church.  This church is one of the most photographed sites in Alaska's Kenai Penninsula.  It was dedicated in 1901.

When we got to Kenai, we went to the Visitor Center.  Besides tourist information, the Visitor Center has some very nice taxidermy mounts,  other displays, and a movie.  

eagle catching a fish

immature eagles

black bear

grizzly bear




tufted puffin (Bob & Jesse saw some of these on their charter fishing trip yesterday)

one of the displays outside

Then, we drove some in Kenai old city and stopped at this church. Built between 1894-96, the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, is the oldest standing Orthodox Church in Alaska and a National Historic Site.  A simple, wood-frame structure with clapboard siding, Holy Assumption Church features a square two-story bell tower and a distinctive crown-shaped cupola, both with the three-bar Orthodox Cross. 

 As we were heading back towards Ninilchik, I spotted a bunch of caribou as we drove past a road.  Jesse turned his truck around so we could get a better look, and of course, some pictures.  It was a herd of 16 caribou.  They are losing their winter fur; that's why they look a little scroungy.  This made today's roadtrip seeing the wild animals.  Now, I'm ready to see some more bears.

Jesse turned down another road, and at the end of it was a campground (looks like for local fishermen) and had a fish processing operation at the end of it.  It was at the mouth of the Kenai River and Cook Inlet.

We got back to the campground a little after 4:00 this afternoon.  We all met again at 5:30 for dinner at Ginger & Jesse's.  She baked some delicious chicken parmesan, spinach & cheese filled pasta, red & white sauce, and hot french bread. 

Have a Good Day!!!

Groc 10.99 Cap/


Day 48 of Our RV Journey to Canada & Alaska 6/29/14 Charter Fishing for Halibut

Today, Jesse and I left at 8:50 to head to Afishunt Charters office.  We had to pick up our fishing license we filled out yesterday, but didn't realize we needed to pay for with cash.    After we got our license, we went to the their other office on 15640 Kingsley Road.   That was where we were to meet our Captain and First Mate, have our license verified, and load our personal items on board the boat we were going in.  We, then, were loaded into a truck and hauled with 6 others to our launch point about a mile away.

Talking with our captain, we learned that it cost $70 per day to have your boat put in and removed. It's free if your do it yourself, but you risk getting stuck.   Depending on tide, you sometimes must drive quite a way into the Cook Inlet to get to deep enough water to launch a boat.

Our Captain's name was Arthur, and our First Mate was Kelsey.  Arthur is a boat captain in the summer months here, then he guides big game in  fall.  He told me he spent a month on Kodiak Island bow hunting for deer last year. Sounds like a pretty good life.    Kelsey, the First Mate, was in her late 20's and has her own salmon boat where she puts out 4 nets totaling over 1100 feet for catching salmon.  She said she caught 3200 lbs of salmon yesterday.  She said she went this morning to patch holes in her nets and drove back to Ninilchik to work on our boat. When fishing season is over, she teaches 1st grade in Anchorage.

We traveled about a hour to our first stop where the 8 people on our boat were instructed on how to catch a halibut. We must have not paid to much attention or else the fish weren't hungry, as I was the only one with a fish in the boat after our first set.  We, then, traveled 20 minutes or so to another spot and tried again but the fish were not cooperating.  We were told to reel in and we moved again....BINGO.... we had found fish!!! Within the first 5-10 minutes we had 4 fish on at once.  We stayed here for the rest of our time as we had only about a hour of fishing left. We ended up with all 8 people getting there 2 fish limit, Most of us caught several more but returned them trying to get a bigger fish, which weren't cooperating.

Beautiful scenery today; we saw both volcanoes blowing off steam, and also saw 1 whale a couple of times.

After fishing, we returned to the office to take photos of our catch and for Arthur and Kelsey to fillet our catch. I was pretty impressed watching them fillet the halibut.  I think I'll bring Janet down and get her some fish cleaning lessons from Kelsey. Yeah, right, that will work!!!  They normally leave the skin on the fillets for grilling, but i thought they would freeze better without the skin.  According to Afishunt management, they don't remove it.  Kelsey told me she wants the skin removed also, but she couldn't do it because of management.

Jesse and I returned to our campground and I filleted the outer skin off of the fillets then went to camper and cut up portions and Jesse vacuum packed our 18 lbs of fillets.

After showering, I fried some fillets, potato wedges, and hush puppies for the four of us.  The catch of the day was some mighty tasty eating.

Oh, want to add that we saw a cow moose and one calf moose today at the end of the campground we are staying at in Ninilchik. When the cow moose saw us, it wasn't long and they were both  headed to the woods.

It was a good day.

Ent. 194.67 Cab/80.00 Csh/

Written by Bob