Friday, June 24, 2011

Fish and Tsunamis

"How much fish could Jen Pickett pick if Jen Pickett could pick fish?" – Rick B.

The world may never know………

Sunrise at Egg Island 

Given the choice, which way would you go? Yeah, I’d choose left, too.  We went right.
This was taken Thursday morning, June 23, 2011 about 5 AM at from Egg Island on the Copper River Flats, Alaska.  It’s hard to drive into the black abyss when it’s sunny the other direction.  But, land was the other direction and probably not many fish.  And, that is what we do.  Drive into the abyss for fish.  With glory stories of 900 fish sets driving us on.  We didn’t get our 900 fish set this opener.  Maybe next time.  We did get a smorgasbord though.  We caught reds (which is what we were after) cohos, dogs, herring, ling cod, grey cod, green eyes (yick!)  and we even caught one humpy.  You could smell it.  I don’t know what it is and maybe I’ve fished too long, but different species of salmon smell different. 
Despite the black sky, it turned out to be a pretty nice day.  Not too much wind or swell and it was even sunny at times, adding to my Alaskan tan, from the chin up and the wrists down.
Then we heard the tsunami warning.   We were listening to the Clark Howard show on AM radio (we are not one of the cool kids with satellite radio).  He was giving financial advice as he always does.  He is one of our regular programs.  Him, Dennis Miller, Michael Savage (who I can’t stand, but skipper likes.  I protested Glen Beck so we don’t have to listen to him anymore! But, apparently, I had to give up NPR.  Tit for tat.) “The way radio was” is another program we like, rebroadcasts from the late ‘40’s and 50’s.  But, we missed is last night.  Skipper knows all the programs and times in his head.  “Go 10 up” which means change the dial 10 times to the next program.  “7 down”.  I never know what station we are on, but he does.  I would have to take off my polarized glasses and contort myself at the galley table to look close enough to the radio to see the channel.  I never care enough to do either.
Anyway, Clark Howard was just lecturing a school teacher on saving for retirement when we heard a funny sound on the radio.  It said the program would return.  Then there was a tsunami warning for Alaska. Holy shit! My heart dropped.  We are in 55 feet of water in the Horseshoe, smack dap in the middle of the Flats.  Where are we going to go?  I continued to listen.  “Tsunami warning in effect for the Aleutian Islands from Unimak Pass to Amchitka Pass until 20:15 tonight.”  OK, that is way west of here, by about 900 miles and is on the other side of the chain.  I don’t think anything would come this way, it would go west.  I look at the GPS to see what time it is.  20:23. Huh?  It’s already over.  Skipper says if a tsunami comes we’d run out to about 300 feet and climb into the engine room.  We have a tsunami plan, who knew?
I was out on deck shortly after and skipper said they had cancelled the warning on VHS 16, the channel the coastguard monitors.  As I write this, I just heard on NPR that there was a 7.3 earthquake last night in the Aleutians but the tsunami warning was cancelled right after it was made.  Evidently, Alaska has several different warning systems in place to keep us up to date.  By the time everyone was on the same page the warning was over.  One official found out via email. Oh well, I guess. At least they try. 

1 comment:

Jen Pickett said...

To read more about the tsunami warning check out Deckboss: