July 3, 2014

Adventure, Motorcycle, Outdoors, Travel

I got a lot done to the bike this past weekend in preparation for our Oregon road trip next week. Oil and rear drive fluid changes, new K&N air filter, new plugs, suspension adjustments, wash and wax…it was a busy one. We have pretty much all we need so all that is left is the packing and riding. I am converting the square headlight over to a round one, and I got it in the mail this past week so all I need to do is mount it but it may take a bit of fiddling with it to get it right. From what I read from several different people who have done it was that the headlight I got off an older V45 will pretty much bolt right on. I am not quite sure if I will have the time to do it before we go, but it will be on there sooner rather than later. Square headlights never looked good on cars, and even worse on Jeeps and motorcycles.

It wasn’t so busy we were not able to get out for a ride however! We got in a 60-70 miles Tuesday night west of Port Angeles on Highway 112. What a fantastic road to ride, and I say it every time I ride it and have had it in my blog before. Ups and downs, twists and turns, mountains, the Strait, rivers, farmlands, trees…a nice two-lane adventure for a trip that is short or long. I rode the bike all around the whole weekend and the weather was absolutely spectacular. We had 70s and close to 80 here. What a great place to be!

Crab season started today, but I completely forgot to get my catch card. I have not eaten any since last season so it is definitely time! It is going to be busy out on the water, especially in the early part of the season. John Wayne Marina was pretty jammed with crabbers today when I was coming back out, and with the holiday weekend it oughta be crazy.

Today I got to see my first baby pigeon guillemot. He was a day or two old and was so cute! A few days ago I saw some ducklings with their mom. The gulls are hatching as well, and today I saw a seal pup pop up by my boat when I was out on the water patrolling…it is that time of the season here on Protection Island.

It Has Been Busy!

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

We have had record-breaking visitation here at the refuge this year. We have had a lot of visitors this summer. We have had great weather to visit here and walk on The Spit. The birds are starting to migrate back through almost on a daily basis – interesting to see that change happen as well.

I went out for some boating experience on Friday and to help with a project on Protection Island. I am going for boating training in October… in Hawaii! I am getting the training in preparation to be the caretaker out on Protection Island next year.

The opportunity arose and I said I was interested so then we had to figure out getting my certification training. Hawaii was jokingly mentioned, and I said “Sure! I will go there!”. The response was something like “Yeah… I BET you would!”. I said I would use my miles to get myself there since I have always wanted to go there (plus cross it off my list of states to visit). They take will care of the training (since it is required for me to be the caretaker on the island) and I will possibly staying in a refuge bunkhouse during my training. I have two courses to take – one is the course for running the boat to the island, and the second is Open Water. That will certify me for operating a boat in the ocean or ocean-like conditions.

My certification training will be in late October in Pearl Harbor, so I am pumped up for that! I have never been to a tropical place so this will be cool. Between the two courses I will have a weekend off to go explore so I am going to get a hotel maybe somewhere on the north part of Oahu. I wish I had more time and money, but I am getting to go and get the training (as well as some time off to look around) so that works for me too.

I just got back from babysitting a seal pup on the beach for the last 5 hours. Those things are sure cute. The weather was nice, but it got windy and cool as the early evening rolled around. I had to endure a beautiful sunset over the Strait, however.

I have gotten to go out crabbing twice the last two weeks, so I am getting quite a supply of fresh Dungeness and red rock crabs in the freezer. Hope my parents are ready for a feast when they get here!

It has been absolutely incredible to be working in a place like this experiencing the things I have been fortunate enough to experience here. Sure… getting to this point over the last year has been rather trying at times, but it has paid off huge for me.

Crab… It’s What’s for Dinner

Adventure, Outdoors, Uncategorized

My first real crabbing trip this morning was a success! YAY!!!!

Between the two of us we nearly got our limits on Dungeness crab, but we got our limits on red rock crab. We spent a beautiful morning on a boat inside the Spit setting and pulling crab pots and ring nets until around noon.

My accomplice is cooking them up and will bring them over to me in a while. I have not had any since last Fall so I am more than ready to get my crab feast on!

My Postings Have Been Quiet…

Adventure, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Uncategorized

..but I have been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

Weather has been beautiful lately, but the showers may be back this week. I am hoping to get a bike ride in and undertake an adventure this week since I have a three-day weekend. Victoria, Canada is still on my radar and I want to go over there sooner rather than later. I am told that the museum and the gardens are something to see, as well as the Parliament building. Those would be good on a day that is overcast or rainy. Guess I need to get to checking out the Canadian weather service website tonight!

With this beautiful weather comes visitors… LOTS of them on the weekends, and the weekdays are starting to get busier here at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. This translates into long days. I have also been to the lighthouse several times this past week, taking people out from the International Boundary Commission. They were doing some survey work on the Canada/U.S. international boundary (hence the name… clever, eh?). I made a grocery run for the lighthouse people since I was going to be out two days in a row. Out of kindness they gave me two packages of smoked steelhead they brought down from Alaska for doing that for them. Cannot wait to crack that open!

We have not seen any European Green Crab in our crab traps so far, so that is great news. We have seen many small shore crabs, some helmet crabs, Dungeness, and red rock crabs – some REALLY nice and huge Dungeness and red rock. Unfortunately, we cannot keep them since we are setting traps for research. July 1 is the open of recreational crab season and I am going to go out with a few different people to catch my own. My mouth is watering just thinking about some fresh crab and a Guinness. Gotta get my license/catch card (whatever it is that I need!) pretty shortly and have everything ready to go.

All this work has cut into my adventuring a bit, but just temporarily. My ride week before last was a really good ride and the scenery was fantastic. It had to tide me over through last week; since I had so much going on it was good to stay home and relax on Friday.

So, it looks like tonight I will be looking into some options for this week’s adventure – weather, location, things to see and do, and if I can ride or will have to drive. That 45 MPG on the bike is pretty damn nice!

I have been playing guitar nearly every night the last few weeks as well. It kinda goes in waves sometimes, with a lull that will last sometimes longer than I like but it is not good to force playing for me. I have had a dry spell for songwriting; I have some ideas but am not putting anything together quite yet – mainly just getting back into playing more regularly and getting my playing back up to speed. I also tried a different tuning and taught myself to play the guitar part John wrote for one of the earliest songs we wrote together. It actually came out sounding good! Open Mic Night is still happening weekly, and is another reason I have been practicing.

That is about all for this update. I hope to have something new to post in the next few days.

I’m Going Fishing… Just For The Halibut!

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

First an update: Last week we went out in search on invasive species called European Green Crab. Well, luckily it was a bust. We got many small shore crab, some beautiful Dungeness and Rock crab. The last two are edible but we are on a research permit and we cannot keep them so we did our counts and everything went back into the water MUCH to the dismay of many gulls waiting for some fresh crab. I feel their pain.

Now, on to this week. Tomorrow we go out again to set crab traps again. I hope to get some good pictures this time… the last trip they were blurry and did not turn out. I will post them after we check traps on Wednesday if I get any good pictures.

I believe I am going halibut fishing with a friend on his boat on Thursday. A new adventure doing something I have never done before! I am looking forward to getting out on the water and checking this out. It is the last weekend of the season for halibut sport fishing so I gotta go if I want to check it out. We will see how this adventure goes!

The first time I had halibut was at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse in Anchorage, Alaska. I had their halibut tacos and they were fantastic. Many people go “EWWW!!!” at the thought of a fish taco, but they are so good – they are fresh and light and probably healthier than the regular ones. I have eaten many fish tacos and the halibut ones are far and above the best. Give them a try at a decent restaurant.