Sunday, August 31, 2008

8/30/08 Another windy day here at Winchester Bay. Crabbing off the dock, we got 7 more crabs which we shared tonight with Jeanne Taylor and Rodger Lyman, Park Sierra friends. They arrived yesterday while we were spending the day driving to Eugene and Florence for an excursion. It is great to have them here and we hope they are enjoying the fresh crab!
Do you remember the lines from a Beatles song in the '60's that said, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Well, those lines ran through my mind yesterday when I achieved that age. I'm glad to report that Elaine still needs me and occasionally feeds me, as she did yesterday when we had my birthday lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Eugene. We had driven over there to pick up our wedding rings at Kohl's. We had bought them in Albany about a month ago and had to have them resized. For those of you who don't know, we will be getting married in the Park Sierra clubhouse at 3 PM on October 25. Since we have been together for 29 years, it seems appropriate to take this step now that the California supreme court has made it legal. After we did some other shopping, we drove back to Winchester Bay through Florence, where we stopped at the casino for a short stay and won enough money to pay for some ice cream. Then we shared it with Jeanne and Rodger when we got back to the marina.

Thursday Ron Gibson came over in his boat and picked us up for a day of crabbing out on the Umpqua River. This is the river which is right outside the little harbor area where we are parked.

It was a beautiful sunny day when we got out there and we were even sorry that we had not worn tee shirts because it was so warm. That lasted only a short while because then the wind picked up, as usual, and we had to don sweatshirts and eventually jackets.

We worked our 3 crab traps and 3 of Ron's for about 5 hours and got 22 keepers.

This was so much better than last year! The bad part was that Ron ran over one of his traps and inadvertently cut the rope with the propeller and lost his trap. The good part was that Ron's boat is large and comfortable so it was much easier to be out in it in all that wind than if it was a smaller boat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8/27/08 Just got back from Taco Night at the Eagles Club where we had dinner with Ron and Donna Gibson, RoVing Rod friends, and 3 other new friends we have met here on the crabbing dock. So we went out to check our traps and there were 3 keepers. That makes 6 today, which means things are picking up. Tomorrow we are going out in Ron's boat to see if we can get more crab by going out on the river near the mouth where it empties into the ocean. The theory is that since the crabs come from the ocean, we should get them first if our traps are out there!

Last weekend there was an event here in Winchester Bay called Kool Coastal Nights. Hundreds of older restored cars were on display here and they were so awesome! Of course, I was most partial to the 1956 Chevys because that was my first car. Had to get it in 1967 when I was a grad student and I needed a way to get to Palo Alto to the High School where I was student teaching.

This looks just like my first car!!!

Elaine's first car was a 1959 Ford Fairlane but we didn't see any of them here. After the cars had been on display all day Saturday, they "cruised" all around here and I took some pictures which I will post below for your viewing pleasure.
Yes, the weather has improved somewhat and yes, so has the crabbing, on some days. So that means we aren't so crabby!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8/21/08 Sure wish I was going to be reporting that we have been catching tons of crab but such is not the case. The weather here took a turn for the worst about 4 days ago and has been so bad that for several days we couldn't even get out on the dock to re-bait our traps. The rain was pouring down and there was so much wind that we had to pull in our slide-outs. Since we are always working on staying fit and we try to walk at least 3 miles a day, that was the most frustrating part - that we couldn't get out to walk.
Now for the good part. This morning things were much better because we re-baited our traps and within 3 hours had 3 keeper crabs and patchy sunshine. So we are about to go out for our second walk of the day and checking our traps once again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8/12/08 Greetings Blog Readers, from Winchester Bay, OR. We have now moved south and are established in a spot at Salmon Harbor Marina and have paid for a month. Unfortunately, I started getting sick the day before we moved here and for the last 5 days I have been the most ill I have ever been with a gastro-intestinal disorder. We used some medicine we picked up in Egypt and Thailand and finally today I am starting to feel much better. Of course, I am still weak.
Our friends from the RoVing Rods, Donna and Ron Gibson have been staying in Reedsport at an RV park and they came over to welcome us when we got here. Then, a few days later, Ron caught 2 silver salmon and they brought over several packages of fillets for us. We fixed some for dinner and it was so delicious. We just love having seafood on the coast!!
Elaine has been crabbing off the dock and doing her own thing while waiting for me to get stronger so we can put our boat together. That might happen in a day or two. Here she is, cutting up tuna carcasses for bait.

Then she checks her traps and baits them again:

But today, when she checked her traps, she not only got a big crab but it had a tag on it which means she is in contention for the $1000 prize in a month long contest here. There are other prizes too. Won't know until the 31st!!

When she went over to the Sportmen's Cannery to register her tag, they took a picture of her with her big crab and gave her a red baseball cap that says "Crab Bounty Hunt".

There were 3 other keepers in our traps today too, so tonight we will be having a delicious crab dinner. Yum!
The weather over the weekend was absolutely gorgeous, of course, since I wasn't well enough to go outside. Just look at our beautiful view which seems even better when the sun shines.
Since then, it has been overcast and cold. Luckily, for me, there has been good TV, with the Olympics going on. Elaine has been doing a little beading and soon she will have a lovely new bracelet. No doubt there will be a picture of it in the next blog entry.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

8/5/08 Today we are in Florence, OR and it has been overcast all day. At first we were staying at the Elks Club, but now we have moved to the free RV camping area at the Three Rivers Casino. They let rigs stay here 3 nights and the area is quiet and nice. They even have a big patch of grass for pets to use with a poop bag dispenser right in front of it, and a garbage can for the filled bags! Elaine is in the casino because she says we have to "pay our camping fees", but so far in 2 sessions she has only been winning. Sure hope it continues!
The last time we posted was from Newport where our last days there were enriched by a visit from Lou Stoetzer and Judy Farrow, friends from Park Sierra. They had dinner with us at the Eagles Club the night before we moved down to Waldport. Prior to their arrival, we did more exploring of the Newport area, visiting the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and looking over the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

In Waldport we set up at the Moose Lodge where they even provided electricity for a donation of $5/night and once again we had a very friendly welcome. Our crab traps were collapsed under our rig, so we put together three of them and did some crabbing ASAP. I wish I could say that our time in Waldport was wildly successful in the crab-catching department, but it wasn't. We only put our traps in off the docks, because we didn't want to go through the hassle of setting up our inflatable boat until we get to Winchester Bay where we will stay a long while. Mostly we were catching a lot of seaweed, but we did manage to get 6 keepers in 2 days so we had a nice crab dinner one evening. Saturday we put our traps in and then went with Lou to Yachats to look around some art galleries and have a fish and chips lunch. The day was sunny but the wind came up and by the time we went to get our traps, the waves were crashing over the dock, soaking our shoes and pants, and we didn't get a single crab - not even any small ones were in our traps. It was too rough for even the crabs to be out!
Because we have been working hard to get in better shape, we did a nice hike at Cape Perpetua on our drive down here from Waldport, and another one yesterday at Sutton Campground in the nearby Suislaw National Forest. Here is the view from the top of the Cape Perpetua Hike:

The visitor's parking area at Cape Perpetua is located near a rocky area with a lot of tidepools and a big chasm in it called the Devil's Churn. Here it is:

On our drive here we stopped at a lookout to take this picture of the Heceta Head Lighthouse:

The day we drove down the coast was sunny and beautiful so we had great sea and coast views. Yesterday, on our hike, we stopped at an area where they are preserving habitat for an unusual plant called Darlingtonia. Here is a picture of lots of them in a bog - their favorite habitat.

These plants entice insects to enter their hoods and then they eventually end up falling into an acidic secretion at the bottom where they die and provide food for the plant.
In a few days we will settle in at the marina in Winchester Bay and then the serious crabbing will begin!