Friday, May 30, 2014

2014-12 Prince of Wales Island to the Gulf of Esquibel

Friday, May 30, 2014: From Tlevak Narrows, past Craig, through the Portillo Channel squeeze, to the Gulf of Esquibel.

With slack current at Tlevak Narrows around 6am, we were pulling our crab traps by 5:30.  Lucky for us three large males enjoyed the salmon head buffet offered by the Wild Blue crew.  Then they road the elevator to the surface and into a boiling pot of sea water seasoned with Pappys.

We cleared the Narrows on time sharing the slim channel with a group of  about 15 Orcas.  This is probably the same pod we encountered last year near Craig that performed flips and rolls to the delight of our video cameras.  You can see their performance here.

Just west of Tlevak Narrows is the famous Waterfall
Lodge, a sports fisherman's dream inn.
The shortest route to the Gulf of Esquibel is through Portillo Channel.  It's a shallow channel with plenty of kelp and best to transit at high slack water.  We arrived there a bit early and decided to troll the eastern shores of St. Ignace and San Fernando Islands.  After an hour it was clear the fish were not close-in yet this early in the season.  So we cautiously transited Portillo entering the Gulf at noon.  We then trolled the top of Noyes Island and San Lorenzo Islands without success.  Finally we drifted the eastern edge of Escurial Island hoping for rock fish.  After 12 hours of cruising, trolling, rock fishing and band practice, we set the anchor due south of Tonina Island sharing the small bay with a feeding humpback, and dined on fresh crab.

Crew and members of the band "Currents" perform live off
Prince of Wales Island. 
Three male crabs ready to taste.

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