Tuesday, March 3

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Woke up to another beautiful morning! There is a slight chill hanging in the air, last night before we went to sleep there was it snowing/raining. It’s about 37F out this morning. The dogs ran out and did their thing, I think that’s the first thing we thing about is walking out dogs as soon as we wake up!

Got to the office this morning and my mom was busy picking up the mail from the Post Office. We got a lot of our Easter stuff in! Finally got stuff in early, with how the mail usually moves stuff usually doesn’t come in until like the week of the holiday! So this time our order made it in early enough! I got all the charge slips entered into the book, cashed a couple checks, and answered a couple phone calls. The phone is ringing off the hook this morning, nothing really important. Checking on my dentist appointments, people changing hotel reservations, calling to see if we have cash or not, and a couple just updating their contact info on us. We got a couple checks made for the cash we bought off the Post office.

I am making tacos for lunch today, Fire sauce sounds really good right now! So that’s what’s on our lunch menu! We had ham and cheese sandwiches on hoagie last night for dinner. Not sure what I’m going to make for dinner tonight. We have our dental exam appointments at 4:30 and 5, and my hubby was thinking about cooking steam bath today too. Bath sounds really good, especially after seeing the dentist (I’m not too worried, I take care of my teeth – other than my soda habit!).

The weather is so calming and beautiful, it’s almost like it wants to be summer here already! All that is missing is the smell of all the flowers and plants that grow around here! There is a slight low tide smell, that sweet smell of kelp and salt water wafting thru the silent air. It’s so peaceful, with seagulls singing to each other while they flock in the bay, rock ducks whistling and bobbing up and down in the water, and as eagles serenade each other as they soar over the village. The occasional couple sea otters floating around, probably eating the sea urchins that are pretty abundant in our harbor (you can always usually get 5-8 of them off the floats down in the boat harbor). Fog gracefully draping parts of the mountains and small wisps of blue showing thru the cloud covered sky.

This kind of weather makes me want to go out jigging so bad! Jigging is the term used here to go fishing for halibut and/or cod. My husband and I prefer to use “hand-lines” over fishing poles. Ok, let me try my best to explain: we take a good amount of line – at least 250 feet of so. The line cannot be too thin or thick, it’s best that when tight is easily held and can be pulled without cramping your hands up (some people have super small line that sucks to pull up, I’ve never really seen anyone use too thick of line). We wrap the line around a wooden handmade spool specially designed to help get the line off the hand line quick and to be able to wrap the line back around it for storage. The wooden “handle” is usually shaped kind of like a stretched out roman numeral 2, and you wrap the line around the center, on the top side it’s best to put a swivel and something to be able to hold your hand line with. I will try to find mine and take a pic of it. I have to make myself a new one this year, the one I have is really old and the wood is starting to go bad (it’s seen a lot of halibut though!). On the end of the line that’s wrapped around your hand line, you attach a weight that’s over 3lbs (I found 2lbs or lighter doesn’t make it to the bottom) to your line about 2 feet from the end. On the very end you put a circle hook, the kind that is used for the halibut long lining fishery. Made sure to bring assorted bait, I like to get a fresh salmon out of the creek or net when the salmon are running. If not, using a pole or lure to catch some cod for bait works great! They will also eat skulpins (or “kull-ug-inn” as we call them around here). Halibut don’t seem too picky about what they are eating, I’ve heard of people using smoked salmon and puffin feet! My father-in-law loves those Norwegian Cod jig (I think that’s what it’s called) on his pole. They also work great on a hand line! Ok so you go out to the desired depth (of course it can’t be deeper than the amount of line you have on your hand line), you go out and throw the baited hook and weight over board, while holding the handle attached to the swivel on the hand line, it will begin to spin, unwinding the line until it eventually hits the sea floor. You then pull up a couple feet, at least like 4-5 feet so you’re not dragging your weight and hook on the bottom - don’t want any snags now! Then you “jig” the line up and down, waiting and feeling for a bite. Once you feel something on the other end you pull it up to investigate! You will know when you have a good size halibut; the fight to the surface is such a rush. Always wanting to keep the tension on the line so the halibut doesn’t shake the hook out of its mouth! It’s one of the best feelings fighting a big fish to the surface by literately pulling it off the bottom with your hands! When I get tired I have my hubby pull my fish in for me:P… lol! Once we get it aboard, depending on its size and if it’s flopping around bad, we’ll take a small club and whack it really hard between the eyes (some people resort to shooting them, I don’t think I have to waste ammo… if you club them hard enough it has the same effect!) Make sure to put your halibut white side up so that you to reduce visible bruising also make sure to bleed your halibut! After a day of fishing we will take home our catch, hand out some of it to people and/or “clean or dress” the halibut to take home. I like to skin my halibut before I put it in Ziploc bags to be frozen!

When cleaning a halibut I like to first rinse the slime off, sharpen my knife and have something to put the meat in after cleaning it up. I make my first incision starting from the tail moving towards the head, right down the center. Halibut have a visible line that goes from their head all the way down to their tail, separating the halibut into 2 sections: the “top” part is nothing but meat, while the bottom part is half the vital organs and digestive system nearest the head and meat near the tail. Make a perpendicular cut right across the tail where you started your first cut, this small cut will be the end cut of your fillet. After making the big cut down the center, I like to feel for the guts and slightly angling your knife, you go a couple inches away from the guts and cut all the way out towards the outside edge of the fish (that makes your other end cut). Ok, now to get your fillet of meat off the carcass. I run my knife under the meat from the first cut I made, literately cutting/peeling the meat off the halibut. If you have your knife angled just right, you can all most fillet the whole slab of meat off the fish carcass. Once the meat is off I make sure to cut it along the outside edge to completely remove it from the fish. I do the same on the top part that I didn’t cut yet, but this time instead of watching out for guts, you can make your cut along the top of the head out to the outer edge. Using your knife to remove the meat from the halibut. I flip the fish over and do the exact same thing to the other side. I usually get 4 good slabs of meat off one halibut, I will then de-skin all the meat, cut it up into good size portions and freeze them. The fish is usually still quivering and literately frozen or cooked up the freshest you can get it!! (I hope I explained that ok….)

Nothing much going on this afternoon in the office. Hotel reservations and this phone ringing like ever today! We got an email from Story Corps, they are hoping to come over and we have signs up letting people know what it’s all about and if they are interested to sign up. I know a lot of people over here have a lot that they can talk about from their childhoods and some of the superstitions and ghost stories from back when we didn’t have any street lights! People over here are rich in stories, it’s just the fact of trying to get it out of them… come on people open up and talk… the only way to keep your stories alive and going is to share them! Hopefully there is a good turnout from over here…

I made a couple “WET PAINT” signs to hang up downstairs. I guess Fred kept painting and he almost got the whole building. Right now he’s down in the lobby area where you first walk into the building and he wants to make sure that people know that all the walls down there are coated in a fresh coat of paint! Don’t want shoppers or anyone to go home with white paint all over them! So I quickly whipped out a couple signs (super easy, he thought it would be bothering me to ask… but it only took like as long as it took to open the program and push print! LOL)…

Well I’m going to get those quarters counted up and make sure I bring some down with me to my dentist appointment, since the clinic is right next to the corp building (where the laundry mat is located). Answer the phones if/when they ring, and get that store order out to our vendors, they need/want it by tomorrow at the latest.

I think we might just eat at the cafĂ©… if not I will find something for us to heat and eat tonight… maybe just pan fry up some halibut with rice on the side! I am looking forward to steam bath after my dental exam! At 3:30 PM the plane is deciding to try to come over, that will be the first flight for the day. It has been pretty nice all day, it's about 46F out right now.

Have a great Tuesday, TTFN


  1. K Im putting visiting Akutan on my Bucket list! Gonna steal April Dawn and go live like an islander for a week!

  2. You'll have to teach Darryl how to do all that fishing. This is his wife.

  3. Kims idea is a good one. I miss that low tide smell. it always makes me feel nostalgic. I might have to somewhere with a harbour for my holiday this year!
    'Jigging' sounds very fun! sadly I dont think it would be very useful where I fish though :D

  4. hhmmmmm...fresh halibut...here in indiana halibut is $14.00 and up per pound...

  5. "There is a slight low tide smell, that sweet smell of kelp and salt water wafting thru the silent air. It’s so peaceful, with seagulls singing to each other while they flock in the bay, rock ducks whistling and bobbing up and down in the water, and as eagles serenade each other as they soar over the village."

    Now that was some fine writing! Keep up good work. And how big are these halibut you catch? Aren't they huge fish?

  6. How is Dante doing? Has he gotten used to going pee outside yet?
    Glad your having some nice weather right now. Enjoy!


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