Friday, June 29, 2007
5:15AM arrived so unexpectedly that I didn’t even hear my alarm. Good thing Diana did! 5:50AM found us pulling into the crammed parking lot above the Government Wharf in Ucluelet. Being raised on a lighthouse, boarding the waiting 30-foot fibreglass boat felt normal to me, but to Diana, it was sort of like skydiving on her very first plane ride. Jeremy, the owner/operator of the M.V. Tight Lines, was both accommodating and confidence strengthening, and in moments, we were gently powering out of Ucluelet’s narrow and secluded harbour towards open water.
A four-foot ground swell, carrying a two-foot chop greeted us as we sped from the confines of the protected harbour into the vast Pacific Ocean. A nasty sea for a smaller boat, ours handled exceptionally well, and in less than twenty minutes, we were slopping along with our salmon lures trailing behind us.
The humid chill of the offshore breeze was soon interrupted by a tug on the tip of my 9-foot rod, and a split-second later, I was fighting the first catch of many. The large Red Spring Salmon turned out to be the biggest of the day, and my arm will remember him for a while! Next, Diana took her turn with a Sea Bass. It was awesome to see the look on her face as she fought and landed it.
Jeremy was 8 for 8 in landing our catches with his net, but between us, Diana and I lost 4 before they reached the boat. Two of my salmon were a bit too small, but still, we went home with six nice fish.
As we trolled and travelled to four different locations we saw bald eagles perched on sea-bound rocks and soaring overhead, sometimes twittering to each other in their own unique language. Farther inland, a small black bear foraged on a dark outcrop of rocky beach as we trolled by, reeling in another salmon that he probably would have appreciated.Soon our charter time was up, and Jeremy sped us back towards Ucluelet. He headed for a narrow passageway, between some exposed rocks and the shoreline, when suddenly he pointed to a frothy patch up ahead. Two Humpback whales cavorted close to shore, and blocked our route! Jeremy slowed to a snail’s pace as we drew near. The whales put on a little show for us as we passed, but as I held my camera at the ready, I secretly wished for a little more drama.
After eating some big salmon steaks, we cut, wrapped and froze the rest of our fish. The afternoon was well upon us as we drove to Tofino, stopping at several scenic places along the serpentine, 40KM route. Rain had begun before we were finished eating, but our spirits wer high. Once done looking around Tofino and area, we headed back to #12, Reef Point Cottages for a late supper of more fresh salmon. Mmmmm!