Beside Prince William Sound, between Anchorage and Seward

Day 28 Saturday July 3 - overnight at Anchorage, Alaska

Day 29 Sunday July 4

The RT showed signs of engine problems beginning early AM around Anchorage. Sort of hiccupping brief spells. Later, on the way to Homer, the engine stopped running twice, I coasted to a stop, and it restarted. At least two other times it stopped firing but I kept it running by twisting the throttle 4-5 times and it would begin firing again. Very strange! Then, again in Homer, it stopped, restarted, then stopped altogether. I called Ken and asked him to bring his trailer in case the engine wont start tomorrow. Now the RT is parked in a campground on The Spit because thats where it stopped running. Jim gave me a ride back to the motel. I called the Cross Country Motor Club and they cover $100 in towing max - not enough to pay for the trip to Anchorage. I wont renew that membership! Overnight at Homer, Alaska


Day 30 Monday July 5

I am bummed that the RT stopped running yesterday - luckily after we arrived in Homer, not on the road. But, Im stuck in the motel until Ken arrives w/his car and bike trailer. Well put the RT on the trailer and pull it back to Anchorage tomorrow evening, then take it to the BMW dealer Wednesday morning.

My thinking vacillates between wanting to sell the RT as soon as I get back to El Paso, to hoping the mechanic in Anchorage can solve the problem and I can continue the ride south to Sweetgrass, Montana and beyond. But, I can decide (to sell or not) after I get back (to El  Paso), no hurry.

Later - Ken arrived and we got the RT onto the trailer, no problem. We stopped by the Silver Fox Charters office to confirm our reservations, etc. Then we stopped by the supermarket for potato chips, cookies, and fruit. Well get sandwiches at the Subway next door to the SFC office in the morning. I can leave my gear in Jims room (since I am not staying tonight here in Homer) until after we get back from fishing. Overnight at Homer, Alaska


Day 31 Tuesday July 6

HALIBUT FISHING - The Halibut fishing charter was fun.  We were assigned to Capt. Tom on a 28ft, twin diesel powered cabin cruiser boat. It was pretty fast, cruising at 20-21 knots and we stayed up with the five other SFC boats that left the Spit dock when we did.  The boats caravaned (one behind the other) for an hour or more (I dont wear a watch, so the times are approx), then we peeled off to the north for 1/2 hr; then Capt. Tom began watching the sonar looking for a 200 ft shelf on the bottom. He settled for 225 ft and we anchored. The first line into the water got a strike almost immediately and it was a keeper, not big, but a nice size. The rigs were already on the rods and Capt. Tom took a frozen Herring, hooked it thru the body just behind the eye, then cut the belly open to create some scent. Then the angler would drop the rig over the side, slowing the runout of the line off the reel by placing a thumb on the spool. As soon as the weight reached the bottom, the weight was raised about one foot above the bottom - hopefully right above a big Halibut who would look up and see his dinner spinning in the current. There was a strong current flowing when we anchored and the tide turned while we fished. About 1:30 PM or so, the strikes stopped and we pulled in our lines, secured the rigs, Tom very skillfully hauled up the anchor, and we started back for Homer Spit dock. Of the six anglers aboard, only Jim did not haul in a fish (he had three on the hook, but they got off before he boated them). Ken caught the biggest, a 52 pounder, and I the next at 48 lbs. Altogether the three of us caught 186 lbs (before cleaning) and 100 lbs of filets. We had the fish cleaned and cut into 1 lb packs of steaks or filets, then vacuum sealed into plastic bags. The company that packed the fish, Coal River? or something like that, took care of the shipping also. Ken took home 47 lbs of steaks and I had the rest shipped to El Paso.  

Beautiful halibut - What fun!

We had a great time. Ken went forward to a bunk and slept on the way out, and we ate lunch on the way back. Im looking forward to eating the fish!

I rode back to Anchorage with Ken and Tarja and Linda (their Golden Lab dog), towing the RT. Jim will ride back solo tomorrow. Overnight at Anchorage, Alaska.


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