Cordova - Lay Day

Today is scheduled to be a lay day in Cordova. We slept in until 7 and we both sat around in our jammies until 10. We helped Telita cast off from our port side at their announced time of 9am. They are off to go explore, and we’ll catch up to them tomorrow at Beartrap Bay. Watching Telita leave was fun, as the fishing fleet was filling up the fairways, and it was hard for them to find a gap to squeeze into!

Kathy from Telita tends to the lines after casting off from OceanFlyer

Telita gets a head start on the fleet

Around noon our stomachs managed to get us moving up to the Baja Taco. It’s a bus that Karen had read all about – funky but good.  Like all things in Cordova, it is humble in appearance but does serve a good fish taco. We sat for an hour after our lunch and used their free WiFi. This is our last opportunity for about three weeks to have any internet access.

While we were at Baja Taco, a front moved through with gusts up to 30+ knots. Notwithstanding the wind and rain, we walked up to town and spent about three hours waking around. We hit LFS for a Racor Fuel filter, visited the post office to mail a postcard home,  checked out the local sporting goods shop that looked like a Quonset Hut  for a halibut lure, went to Nichols grocery store for odds and ends, as well as True Value Hardware and a few other little shops along the way. I rewarded myself with a soft serve ice cream cone from the convenience store in town.

Baja Taco and internet access

If you make it to Cordova, stop in for some Alaska charm

Karen finds a Cordova slug 

Our big entertainment was watching the fishing fleet come in. The harbor is host to over three hundred “bow pickers”. A purpose-built design that features a shallow draft to be able to go up the nearby rivers in search of salmon. The name comes from the fact that the net is launched and retrieved over the bow. Karen called it the “Bow Picker Ballet”, as they came and went at warp speed, yet never hitting anything no matter how close a call it looked like from our vantage point. As the day progressed, we had 3 bow pickers rafted behind us and 4 rafted just in front of us. The harbormaster’s desire to leave some empty space on “G” dock now made sense!

The ubitiquitios bow picker

Bow picker out of the water shows the very shallow draft

Bow picker out of the water shows the very shallow draft

The "Old Harbor" is where the bow pickers berth

A reminder how much Mother Nature influences life in Alaska

The Old Harbor, bow pickers as far as the eye can see

From our spot on “G” dock,  we could also see the large “receiver” boats come into Trident Seafood’s dock to have their holds of salmon vacuumed out of the boat and into the plant. These boats receive the catch of the bow pickers during the openings, and then transport the large accumulated catch to harbor while the bow pickers return to fishing. They are big, long and fun to watch as they maneuver into tight spaces with aplomb.

Now every time I see the Trident Seafood logo on the salmon patties we buy at Costco, I picture this amazing operation.

A little social hour is scheduled at five today on Deception to welcome the wives of the crew on Patos and chat about tomorrow’s plans. Dinner will be freshly caught Copper River Salmon – Yum!