I was on vacation the week from April 13 to April 17. While checking my e-mail on April 16, I saw an e-mail from a friend of mine in Sedro Wooley, Steve, asking if I was interested in going on a shrimping trip, on Saturday, in Canadian waters. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? OF COURSE!!!! I have never been shrimping and it sounded like a lot of fun.
Besides the normal things to bring along, like a lunch, snacks and coffee, I had to get a Non-resident Canadian Tidal Waters fishing license. Great, there is a web-site to get that from. So that was taken care of, but to be on the safe side, I had better bring a passport or birth certificate also. No problem.
So, Saturday morning, I picked up another friend from Marysville, Dan, at 4:30am and drove to Coronet Bay to meet up with Steve and his boat. Coronet Bay is just east of Deception Pass. Steve was just setting up his boat, so we helped him launch it, got it loaded up with our stuff and got going.
Below is a picture of us approaching the Deception Pass bridge. It is about 6:00am.
Here is a picture after passing under the Deception Pass bridge. As you can see, it is looking to be a perfect day for some fishing. The sun is just starting to top the Cascade Mountains.
Here is a shot of the fishing grounds. The other boat is a shrimping buddy of Steve's. His boat was the only other boat out there. We had the whole place to ourselves. One can also see some the shrimp pot floats on the water.
While letting the pots "soak", we happen to see this big freighter going by in the distance. We also looked at it through my binoculars and that thing was sure throwing up a huge bow wave, but it was far enough away that it didn't really affect us.
Here is Steve demonstrating how to hook up the pot line to the winch to haul the pot up from the bottom. We were fishing in about 350 feet of water, so there was no way we could pull the pot up by hand. He has a little gas motor with a pulley system to assist in pulling up the pots.
Here, Dan is taking a turn at pulling up a pot. After going over a pulley on the arm, the line is wrapped around a pulley on the gas engine, the engine is fired up and the operator has to feed the line into the garbage can as the pot is coming up.
After the pot comes up, the engine is shut off, the pot is grabbed and swung on-board and set on top of the garbage can.
Then, the pot is opened up and the shrimp are dumped into a bucket. Our first "string" of four pots yielded 177 shrimp. Not bad for four pots.
Here is a shot of a bucket full of shrimp.
Here is Steve demonstrating how to eat shrimp sushi style. NOT. They still have the head on and the tail is covered with its shell.
After the pots are brought up, unloaded, rebaited and spashed again, it is time to "clean" the shrimp we caught. About all that means is that they are "de-headed". One has to be a little carefull when reaching for a shrimp from the bucket because, what I didn't know, is that each shrimp has a sharp barb both on their head and between the "fins" on their tail. Now, these things are still alive and they are flipping their tails, so one could get stabbed by one of their barbs. It is really nothing more then a pin prick, there is nothing on their barbs that will sting a person.
Here are a couple of shots of the two rookies "de-heading" the shrimp between pot soaks.
After spending about seven hours out there and pulling all the pots four times, we had about 550 shrimp on board and decided to call it a day. The limit in Canada is 200 shrimp per person, so it was a very successful day. But....
On the way back, Steve decided to go on the west side of San Juan Island and then shoot straight across to the Deception Pass to get back to the boat launch. Well, we were just out from Roche Harbor when the engine just flat quit running. We popped the engine hatch and nothing looked out of place, except that the oil dipstick was showing way too much oil. Now where did that come from? Steve tried to restart it, but it was turning over real hard, and it didn't start.
Steve then made a phone call and about a half hour later, another boat showed up and gave us a tow back to the boat launch. What should have been about another hour of cruising back to the launch turned into a four hour tow back to the launch. But we just got to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Here is a shot of the tow boat towing us through the San Juan Islands.
I did hear from Steve the next week and he told me that one of his co-workers had that happen to him last year. It turned out to be a cracked manifold which filled the oilpan with water and also filled a cylinder with water, causing hydro-lock, which bent a piston rod. So this fun-filled trip turned out to be a somewhat expensive trip, but it was still a lot of fun and I will definitly do it again, if invited.