We wake up to bright blue skies here on the docks at Heritage Harbor in Wrangell. The morning affords an opportunity for some exercise, and Aquila’s crew walks the mile into town for the opportunity to stretch their legs and check out the early 4th of July activities.
Craig and Fabrice aboard Ajax have an early morning mission to score some fish, and so are off to explore the docks. Score they do! They come back with a box of Dungeness crabs and a 15 pound king salmon from the fish buyer and packing plant at the top of the docks. Bargain basement prices for some of the freshest wild Alaskan salmon you could ask for. Fabrice is an expert with a filet knife and goes to work, while Brian at Deception fires up the crab cooker. They have no less than 9 dungeness crab to prepare and cook. Fabrice, who proves modest about his cooking skills, is nothing less than a formally trained French chef, and it’s like watching a kid on his birthday as he filets the King. Kurt and Sabine are no less excited, as they had the foresight to invite their favorite French chef who knows exactly how to prepare a pile of Dungeness! And let’s not leave Craig out of all this excitement… he’s sharing the stoke and busy cracking shell next to Fabrice.
The kids aboard Eldean watch the action at the fish prep table from their fly bridge. Although they have no interest in the fish scraps, they watch like bald eagles perched above our heads fixing us with the same eager attention.
No sooner has Fabrice made it through the King, than the crew from Aquila has returned from town with their own haul of fish! More salmon to be filleted. Cherrie wastes no time getting her hands dirty alongside Fabrice, he gives her a hand with the filets while she salvages the remaining meat for a tartare. Aquila had set their hopes on a salmon fishing trip, but confess that this fish is as good as anything they could have hoped to bring home, and for a fraction of the price of a fishing charter. They’re content.
Sunny weather here in Wrangell, and fresh fish for dinner this evening.
At 3pm the folks from Break Away Adventures arrive to pick people up for the trip out to Anan Bear Preserve. The salmon are beginning their river runs, and the salmon runs in Anan provides a bounty that brings both black bears and Grizzlies down to the river and an unparalleled opportunity to watch both black and brown bears from the safety of an observatory tower up a beautiful half-mile board walk.
It will be a long day – the boat promises to be back by around 9pm. But with the salmon filleted and ready, salmon dinner awaits us all (bears and crew alike).