Ketchikan-Meyers Chuck-Thoms Place-Wrangell

 

Rafting in Meyers Chuck
Rafting in Meyers Chuck
 

We left Ketchikan and headed to Meyers Chuck, a small community with a public float and a decent anchorage. Dick sat in the back of the boat (the cockpit) and trolled for salmon on the way.  He caught about 10 salmon; two were almost legal size (they have to be 28 inches) and the rest were small ones.  He had a great time even though there were no keepers.  He’s confident of his technique and is looking forward to more fishing as we continue north.  We got to Meyers Chuck (chuck is an indigenous word that means water) and the public float was full. A traveling flotilla of boats occupied both sides of the dock. We were cruising about looking for a good place to anchor when they radioed us and asked us if we wanted to raft up to them.  We’ve never done that before because our boat is so high, but they said it would be no problem.  The picture above shows us rafted.  You just walk across their swim platform to get to the dock.  They invited us to their cocktail party and they fed us gorgeous slow cooked salmon that they obtained in Ketchikan the same way we got our rockfish!  I am always amazed by the generosity of strangers that we meet while cruising.  The flotilla was lead by NW Explorations and they charter out Grand Banks yachts to couples and lead them on trips to varying locations.  This one was going to Juneau.  The young people operating the trip were impressive as well as kind to us.  

 

 

Crabbers in Thoms Place
Crabbers in Thoms Place

The next night day we cruised to Thoms Place, known for it’s excellent crabbing ( and now we had a huge rockfish head for bait! Yum!).  Another lovely anchorage where we were the only ones.  We did notice some buoys afloat that mark crab pots, so it wasn’t long before this family aboard Wizard arrived.  They set some more pots and picked up the pot that was there, and then they motored over to our boat and asked us if we wanted some crab!  This was getting unbelievable!  Dungeness crab is so good.  He gave us four, all cleaned and ready to cook.  I have an Instapot and I can pressure cook them in 4 minutes with just a bit of water.  Large pots of boiling water and rocking boats aren’t always a good idea, so the Instapot works well.  We also had put out our own pot and had a nice surprise when we pulled it up in the morning.

 

 

We only kept three.  They have to be male and 6.5 inches across the back. Plus, you have to pick out all the crab meat after you cook them, so they are somewhat labor intensive-but worth it!  Dick is terrible at crab picking-no patience. Now I had seven crab on my agenda.  We left that morning for Wrangell, another fishing and crabbing community. We stayed in a marina filled with a mix of fishing boats and pleasure craft. Dick is fascinated by the fishermen, and loves to look at their boats and find out how they do their job. He struck up a conversation with a group of young men on the Island Pride, and the next thing I know he returning to the boat with 4.5 lbs of fresh caught king salmon. I, of course, am still picking crab from the day before. I turn my galley into a fish processing plant.


It doesn’t stop there.  We found out that we could drop our crab pot off our stern in the marina and pull out giant crab every night.  We stayed 4 nights and kept 9 more crab-the last night I said no more! The small fishing boat down the dock also chipped in with a gift of 1 lb. of fresh caught spotted prawns.  Our freezer is full and it’s time for us to start returning the favors. Amazing-all of it!

 


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