Saturday, July 11, 2009

#36 - Elfin Cove to Hoonah

This morning we fished our way to Hoonah. It started just outside Elfin Cove where we had located a halibut hole earlier using the tender. We fished around several local islands until, bingo, the halibut started biting and we landed one. After stowing the tender aboard, we fished the same spot with the big boat and landed two more flatties.

Halibut Hole hot spot just outside Elfin Cove just off George Island.

Gerard's flattie.

Tina's flattie. She's going with the Hollywood sunglasses as a disguise. Her fishing license has her last name on it but they miss-spelled her first name, putting Robert on it instead. They probably thought her first name was "Roberta" and left off the "a".

The big boat makes a great fishing platform as long as the water stays relatively flat. There's plenty of room for 4 or more fisherman in the stern cockpit area. It's best to keep someone at the helm using the thrusters to point the bow to the swells when drift fishing. A sea anchor would work great for this as well. Once the swell grew larger, it became a bit uncomfortable for Pat, and we decided to move to Lemesurier Island in Icy Strait and fish for more halibut.

Our Route to Hoonah.

At Lemesurier Island we fished and watched many whales closeup. Bob hooked a huge fish but farmed the it about halfway up. The weather was breezy with flat seas and after another hour of fishing we headed for Hoonah arriving around 7PM. We'll stick here for two nights then move across to Gustavus on Monday to drop of Pat for her 6-day vacation in California.

Hoonah is a modern day Tlingit village of about 1100 persons. Most everybody there is related to one another. Over the last several years Hoonah has opened its town to the cruise ship crowd offering a Tlingit culture village and 1-mile long zip line ride. The ships anchor just off town and ferry their passengers to the village. A modern fish processing plant augments the town's income and has become quite busy since plants in Kake and Pelican have closed.

Serenade of the Seas offloads visitors to Hoonah

Hoonah also has a marina conveniently located near Glacier Bay National Park entrance so that yachts waiting to secure a permit and enter the Park hang out there. And to top it off the local bar with internet, appropriately named "The Office", is located adjacent to the grocery and hardware stores.

The Hoonah Marina

Tomorrow we need to get Pat to Gustavus airport for her flight to Juneau then San Jose. We wanted to drop her off at Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay to ride the hotel shuttle to he airport, but the Bay is overcrowded and the Park Service is not letting any more pleasure boats enter. So instead we'll anchor just off the town of Gustavus and ferry her to the dock then escort her to the airport. See you tomorrow.

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