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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Elk Boat

The Columbia waiting for us at the base of a 550 foot cliff.

One of the best aspects of our annual elk hunt is that it is boat based.  We get up there on a 50 foot seiner the Columbia.  The skipper Jim E is probably the most important person on the hunt.  He puts us on shore and, more importantly, picks us up off the shore when it is often ugly.  None of us are 'boat people' and I am amazed with his patience with us when it comes time to anchor up or moor the boat.

The boat allows us to go on shore and look for elk in many different bays and areas.  While if we went up there by plane we would be stuck in one spot.  Jim often drops us off in one bay and then picks us up in another after we have hiked across.  At one point on this last trip we got put on shore and spent 3 days hiking, covering over 20 miles, to get picked up in an entirely different bay.

But probably the best part of the boat is that it is a shelter when it gets really ugly - and what's not to like about a bunk and beer on tap?  We also get to go fishing and this year we actually even caught a few halibut.  In actual fact the only protein we brought back turned out to be fish.

Jim at the controls on the way home.  It got pretty rough at times and we even got a call from the Trusty Tusty just past Whale Pass wanting to coordinate a safe passage by night (starboard to starboard rather than port to port).

 John with a Yellow Irish Lord.

Ray films whales.  Jim had to stop the boat rather quickly to avoid a collision with one of these things.

Everyone up in the wheelhouse - this was from the start of the trip when everyone still looked clean cut and well-shaved.

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