Monday, September 24, 2007

9/24/07 Well, the crabbing is still very SLOW here at Winchester Bay - darn it! The RoVing Rods Crabfest has officially started and there are lots of great people here. We are having fun social times with lots of good food, despite the lack of crab. There have been several potlucks already, with a Mexican potluck scheduled for tomorrow night, and a crab potluck for Thursday. I have a feeling there will be lots of non-crab dishes at that one! Saturday night there will be a steak dinner at the Eagles Club, with music and dancing afterwards. So, tons of fun, even without the presence of the desired crustaceans!
The weather has been beautifully sunny, but that also means frequent windy days. A few times the wind has been so bad that we closed our slide-out. That also means that we don't put our crab pots out on the river, where we probably would catch more crab, because we can't get out there to check them in our little boat. The people who have bigger boats can get their pots over to Half Moon Bay, nearest to the ocean, and they are catching the most crab.
Unfortunately, the thieves have been coming around some more and have stolen two of Ken & Janice Ryder's traps, and one of Jack Vincent's. John Primmer had some expensive knives stolen from his boat, and someone we don't know had their truck broken into overnight. We have also had several instances when our traps were emptied of crab by someone too. We can tell because they throw them back in the water with the side wide open. It would be nice if these kinds of people would just stay away from here.
Elaine and I have paid for a month here, and that is up on October 8. We will probably be heading to southern Oregon to visit a few friends on our way back to California. More details later. A few pictures from our experience here are below.

Friday, September 14, 2007


This update is from Winchester Bay, Oregon, where we are parked at Salmon Harbor Marina near the crabbing dock. There are about 8 rigs of RoVing Rods here so we have been having good social times with old friends. Unfortunately, the crabbing has been pretty slow, and the few crabs we have been catching are fairly soft, so they aren’t full of meat. The salmon fishing has also been dismal, although yesterday when we walked around the point, the fishermen there said that 8 chinooks had been caught. We saw one of them and it was HUGE. The weather has been changing a lot. The first day we were here it was so windy we could hardly have Happy Hour. The next day was so sunny, everyone was wearing tee shirts. Since then it has been mostly overcast, but fairly calm. Today was an absolutely beautiful day with sunshine and no wind – hooray!

Because of the slow crabbing, we took our time getting our inflatable boat set up and our crab traps out. We had 5 traps and we put them out 2 days ago. Yesterday we went out in the morning to check them and two of them had been stolen!! Boy, we were pissed!! The sad thing is that it seems that these incidents are becoming more common up here. Chuck has had his crab traps stripped several times, but at least they didn’t steal them. Cotton and Betty never leave their traps out unattended. They take their boat out and set their traps, then wait a while and pull them a few times, then bring them in. John and Vi bought a new trap yesterday and it cost $28. He already had a rope , bait box, and a buoy for it, so that would have added to the cost if he didn’t have them. You can see that when a trap is stolen, it costs about $40 to replace everything. This year a license costs $16.50, and there is the daily cost of bait, gas for the boat, etc. So crabbing can be a fairly expensive proposition. Of course, compared to the cost of buying crab, it isn’t. Plus it is fun.

Because we weren’t spending a lot of time crabbing when we first got here, we decided to can some tuna. We have to buy this because we can’t take our boat out on the ocean to catch it ourselves. Often they have to go out over 100 miles to get them. This year tuna costs $1.85 a pound for a whole fish, which means once it is filleted, you get about half waste and half fish, making it $3.70 a pound. We brine it and smoke it before canning it and it is delicious. We are also hoping to can some crab, as we have in past years, but if things don’t pick up on the crab catching, we won’t have enough to do this.

Pictures will be added to this blog in a few days.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

9/8/07 Hello from Oregon. Yesterday we arrived in Salem to visit Elaine's niece, Suzanne, and her family, which includes her husband, Tom, Nathan age 3, and Erin age 8 months. They have relocated here from Arizona. We had a very nice dinner with them last night because we brought them some silver salmon fillets which we prepared on the BBQ. It was great to see their cute little house in the older, more stately part of Salem. The governor lives just 3 blocks from them, and Suzanne's Mom, Penny (Elaine's sister), might soon be living just one block from them too.
Below there are more pictures from our time with the RoVing Rods at Sekiu. The salmon runs were getting smaller and the boats were going to be pulled out by the owners, so we decided to leave and head for the next activity - crabbing. First we returned to the SKP park at Chimicum, where we again had an enjoyable social time with David, Ann, Laurie & Odel. Then we went to Tacoma where we got a new instrument cluster installed in our RV, which was covered by warranty, thank goodness. The LCD screen was so bad that Elaine couldn't even read it and couldn't tell what gear she was in, what the odometer reading was, etc. Now that it is installed, she has noticed that the tachometer readings are wacky. Perhaps another visit to a Chevy dealer will be in our future plans.
I have put some pictures below showing the process for obtaining canned smoked salmon, from the catching to the canning. It is a lot of work but well worth it. If we get an invitation for Happy Hour, or dinner, we are likely to bring some - hint, hint.