Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
If you’ve spent much time in interior Alaska, you’re aware that the seasons go from full on summer to full on winter in a matter of only a few weeks. On one of the last weekends before the snow hit, my buddy JR and I took my boat out on the river for one last hurrah.
I had just fixed my jet unit after battering it while I was hauling my moose out of the bush, so I just couldn’t stand putting it away without one last good trip. This time we were in pursuit of the late-running coho salmon, or silvers as we call them.
After their long swim up the Yukon river, the silvers finally make it to their spawning grounds beginning in late September. By the time they get here, they aren’t the vigorous fighters they are in the ocean, and aren’t very good to eat, but they’re still a blast to catch. We took to a crystal-clear river dressed more for snowmobiling than boating, but it was chock full of fish, so we knew it would be a good day.
Before we got going, we had to spend half an hour letting my throttle thaw out and getting my steering cable broke loose. It was about 18 degrees and the moisture in my steering cable had frozen it solid! Soon enough, though, we were on our way, and shouting and pointing like kids as we zipped over schools of salmon. After a few minutes, we found a good spot to tie off, and we were catching fish in no time. We were fishing out of the boat using lures we call wiggle warts, which are basically just a shiny rattling crank bait.
Although the fish aren’t really feeding at this point in their journey, they are still very aggressive. The wiggle wart is a pretty obnoxious lure, and our basic technique was to pull it upstream past the salmon or hold it in the current right in front of them. There weren’t very many that could keep from biting it!
After pulling in 10 or 15 fish from this spot we pushed farther up river, and after only a few bends upstream we passed over a hole that had to have at least 200 salmon in it. We anchored up and started reeling them in almost every cast. After awhile we had to take a break for a cup of coffee and to break the ice off the guides on our fishing rods. We spent quite a bit of time just sitting there watching the salmon all around and under the boat. It’s easy for me to take this stuff for granted, living in a place like this, but just being out there is an amazing experience every time.
It turned out to be a great last run on the boat for the year. We caught and released about 50 salmon, and we were thankful to spend another day out enjoying Alaska.
Posted by Voyage Adviser at 2:10:00 PM
The Russian bark Sedov is sailing towards the coasts of French Polynesia as part of its round-the-world voyage. The Sedov is retracing the route of the first Russian round the world expedition led by Ivan Krusenstern 200 years ago. Photo: Karina Ivashko
The seafarer’s descendant Alexei Krusenstern is writing a book about Russian round the world voyages which should come out after the current expedition comes to an end. The Voice of Russia’s Karina Ivashko and Alexei Lyakhov report.
The bark Sedov set sail from Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment in St.Petersburg, which is known for a monument to Russian navigator Ivan Krusenstern. In 1802, Lieutenant Commander Ivan Krusenstern wrote a letter to Russian Emperor Alexander I with a proposal to mount a round the world expedition. The emperor found his arguments convincing. One year later, the two ships, Nadezhda and Neva, set out on a round the world diplomatic and research mission paving the way to a series of successful round the world trips by Russian navigators.
Ivan Krusenstern’s descendant, Alexei Krusenstern, a former doctor and now a businessman, is writing a book about Russian round the world expeditions covering a period from his famous ancestor’s expedition of 200 years ago to the current voyage.
"The book will tell readers about 19th century round the world trips. More than fifty such expeditions took place in the middle of the 19th century. Many expeditions were made in the early 20th century. In Soviet times, ships did not go on round the world trips, except for merchant ships. In 1991, the tradition of sending ships on round the world trips was revived and a whole number of vessels, including the Russian tall ship Kruzenshtern named after the famous seafarer, and the ships Pallada, Nadezhda, and now Sedov, are partaking in circumnavigation projects."
A separate chapter of the book will be devoted to the first circumnavigation of the globe. Thanks to a large number of illustrations, readers will be able to compare the way things looked two centuries ago with what they look now. The author will also speak about Russia’s influence on global navigation.
According to Alexei Krusenstern, round the world trips have a particular meaning for Russian people for a good reason.
"No other nation but Russia can boast that its seafarers come back to the Russian land being only halfway through a round the world voyage. After covering two oceans, they arrive at the Russian Far East. This could be why Russians are so keen on round the world expeditions."
The vast size of Russia, washed by three oceans, becomes tangible only on a round the world trip. A passion for seafaring runs in the Krusenstern family, Alexei Krusenstern says.
"At least five members of the Krusenstern family have made round the world voyages. As a seaman cadet, young Ivan Krusenstern distinguished himself in the war against Sweden in 1788 and was ordered to capture a Swedish flagship. When he boarded the enemy ship, he discovered that among those on board there were three Swedish lieutenants who were his cousins. One of them, Maurice Adolf von Krusenstern, became the leader of the first Swedish circumnavigation several years later."
Alexei Krusenstern was going to celebrate his 50th birthday at Cape Horn, on the Russian bark Sedov. However, he had to change his plans as his part of the Circumnavigation 2012-2013 Project, he says, is to present a complete layout of the book by the bark’s return from the months-long journey.
Posted by Voyage Adviser at 6:08:00 AM