Things are getting back to normal slowly with the passing of my mom. I’m not on the normal ship schedule until October so have been picking off small boat jobs here and there.
First Marlin Mike and I headed to Portland, OR and brought the yacht “Pura Vida” around to Seattle. Pretty much a mirror of what we did last spring for the same owner. The trip was nice and the weather was perfect.
Then I headed to Westport to hook up with a buddy from All Rivers and Saltwater Charters to run one of his 6 pack boats for halibut season. Halibut in Washington State is much different than that in Canada or Alaska where the season is open all summer. In our area the season opens every Sunday and Tuesday for three weeks, then closes for a count of the remaining quota. If any remaining quota is left over the season can reopen for another day and another recount and so on.
This year, the first Sunday was a blow out weather wise and the Grays Harbor bar was closed all day and no one was able to go. The first Tuesday was choppy, but the fishing was very good and we got limits of Halibut and Lingcod for the boat.
The following Sunday the conditions were excellent and we loaded up on halibut and ling cod again. Just as we were heading in, we lost a lower unit on one of the Honda 225’s. What should have been a fairly early evening was extended by a slow troll in one engine. We had to scratch the following Tuesday because we couldn’t find a counter-rotating lower unit in time. The Honda 225 lower units are a known weak spot. The 250 lower units bolt right on, so we ordered a set of them to try out as well. They have a slightly lower gearing.
Later in the week the parts arrived and while I was installing them at Mark’s summer rental house, Ian the captain of the second boat (Mark has three identical boats) pulled his boat out of the water and brought it to the house for an oil change. He parked on the side street next to the gate where the shop is located. He was very carefull and didn’t spill a drop changing the engine oil. He did spill just a tad while filling the lower units.
Just as he was completing his work and clean up, a man pulled up in a pickup truck and started to talk to Ian about it. I couldn’t see them as I was on the other side of the fence and I was at a critical point installing the lower unit. This guy goes off on Ian and says he is the city road supervisor and he’s calling the police and blah blah blah. I finally got free of my work and walked out of the gate as the guy is on the phone with the police department. Just as I walk out of the gate. they guy says into the phone “tall guy with grey hair”. WTF? I didn’t do anything, didn’t say anything up to this point and he hadn’t even seen me until this point. Why is he telling anyone my description? Anyway Ian apologizes and moves the boat and cleaned up the tiny little drips and I go back to doing my thing. A half an hour later the police show up to question us and looks right at me and says “why were you aggressive to the road supervisor?” Excuse me? Huh? I explained the situation to the officer and he takes our ID’s to run them and comes back saying we will be getting a citation from code enforcement later. Whatever. I’ve already planned to subpena the road supervisor and ask him what I did.
Here is a photo of the spill area and the crime scene: (the “spill” was just past the pole, just in front of the shadow from the garage. I was on the opposite side of the fence during this whole thing)
The following Sunday we again found the fish and spent all day in one general area catching and releasing halibut and lings until we had the sizes and limits we needed. Tuesday the season was cancelled early due to higher participation and good weather. The quota was caught in only four days this season. It sucks but watchya gonna do?
So halibut season ended up being only three days long for me this season. I’ve lined up some more boat jobs for the summer and will detail those out as they happen.
Follow Up: Ian called a week later and said the police officer stopped by and said the case was closed and nothing would happen. They probably sent someone to the scene and couldn’t find anything. Who knows. The officer did want information on a tuna fishing trip later this summer.