Sunday, March 28, 2010

Catching up with friends.....

One of the great things about being back at home is the chance to spend time with friends and do some catching up, which is how I spent this past weekend. My wife and I went into Reno and met up with four other couples at "Joe Bob's Chicken Palace" to eat some good fried chicken, have a couple of drinks and listen to "Baker Street" do some easy listening tunes. While that was a good time in itself, we couldn't let it end there so we headed on over to "The Black Tangerine" for a couple more drinks and some really good old rock and roll. I had never been into The Black Tangerine before, and I have to say, it is a pretty happening little place there on the South side of town.

Capt Monte "Wizard Mouse"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mornin' I mentioned hanging out with the "Blue Collar Comedy Group" this was posted on Larry the Cable guys Web site... gdata
Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"How we let the little ones out"

Hello, now that I'm home for the summer,I'll take this opportunity to pass on some little known facts about crab fishing. And if you have any questions ask them in your comments.....

Over the course of the year I'm sure you have noticed that between every fishery we spend several days converting the gear to coincide with the various types of crab we target. These changes are required by the Alaska Dept. of fish and game. One of the most time consuming changes is the required "escapement" web. The size of the King crab mesh is roughly 6 inches high and about the same wide, this large opening is designed to allow the "undersized" crab to escape prior to the pot being hauled, which is fine with us because we don't want to catch crab we can't keep anyways. This larger web has to cover one half of a vertical surface being either the 'door' or the 'back' of each pot.

Now of course we don't sew or hang different web each season on the pots but instead change out the doors. Each pot has three completely different doors one for the Opilio crab another for Bairdi and a third for King crab. If we failed to change the door after Kings and went Opie fishing the pot would come up empty as all the 4 inch crab would run right out the large web. The Opilio web is about 3 inches squared and the Bairdi about 5 inches... check out the photo's and again would be pleased to answer any questions.

Capt.Monte 'Wizard Mouse"

Monday, March 15, 2010

An exciting invitation......

So anyway....

My plans were to jump on the first flight that I could get out of town towards home. I was packed and ready to go so I decided to visit a good friend before leaving in the morning. While we were hanging out he suggested I stay an extra day and join him backstage at Key Arena for the comedy show. THE BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR!! I spent most of the evening with Bill Engvall, Larry - the cable guy and Jeff Foxworthy. What an awesome night! We were a fairly small group of about 20 people with all access passes, and I was able to throw a case of King Crab into the mix. (Having just landed in Seattle the Wizard freezer was well stocked)

The show was hilarious and lasted close to three hours. It was a night I won't forget. Thanks again to Bill, Larry, and Jeff, and to Randy, tour manager, for having me..

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"The old man and the locks"

Having reached the Seattle waterfront before dawn, we tied up to whats known as the 'A' dock. This is where I would meet my dad, Gary and his life long friend Raymond Estey. They drove to Seattle from California (16 hours) hoping to meet the boat, they arrived in time to jump on board and ride through the Ballard locks. We left "A" dock and arrived in Ballard about 8 AM.

Once the Wizard was secured, Dad and Raymond were able to tour the boat and meet the crew. The guys got a kick out of meeting my old man, but as usual, they soon began to disperse, heading home to their families.

I was able to show my "guests" a little of Seattle before they headed for home. I had planned on flying out that same day, but my plans were changed due to an unexpected, but very exciting invitation.

More later. "Wizard Mouse"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Headin' Home

Leaving Dutch just after midnight we rounded priest rock and with a lite current on the stern, went through a smooth Unalga pass. As you may remember this is our passage of choice through the Aleutian chain whether we are headed north or south. On this voyage we are headed south and this is the trip home we have all been looking forward to for many months. The season went well and being done the third week of February is extremely rare for us, the one thing on most our minds was "how's the weather in the gulf gonna be?" Again this is a long voyage, eight days or more, and the forecast is only accurate for about three or four days into the future.

After four days of calm seas and even some clear skies we had reached the halfway point, the crew, including myself, had done well in the chore department. It was a good thing because the pleasant ride we enjoyed for days was rapidly deteriorating, winds were 45-50 knots and from the wrong direction.. southerly.

The seas were running around 18 to 25 feet on the starboard bow quarter, which is the worst possible ride, not only does the boat climb and fall over each wave it also "thrashes" back and forth due to the weather being slightly on the side! Four days of this is about all we can take, and as Travis likes to say " will somebody turn off the ocean?".

The bad ride was finally behind us as we entered the Straits of Juan de Fuca at around dinner time, which put us dockside just before daybreak. A good ending to another safe crossing of the mighty North Pacific Ocean...

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Farewell Feast...


Our time in Alaska is coming to an end. The crab have been caught, boxed and shipped to market. We sail south at midnight in order to catch the tide in Unalga pass and then it is out into the vast North Pacific, our ETA in Seattle is around the 2nd of March. Time to put the "old girl" to bed for a spell, as it will be several months before she commands our attention again. The summer months always pass quickly and we will find ourselves back at it before too long.

Our chores here are complete, the gear is neatly piled high at Westward Seafoods and we thank them for always being so helpful. Westward is a top notch cannery and we are lucky to have them as part of our team.

Lastly, we have been invited to eat dinner at Lenny's family home. The Lekanoffs get together every Monday and they have invited the entire crew to join them. This will be Lenny's last chance this season to visit with his family and we are pleased to be part of the fun.

That is all from Dutch,

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"