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Rie Munoz just returned from a five-day boat trip to the outside waters of SE Alaska. Rie was invited by Captain Allan Engstrom (my brother-in-law) aboard his 38' Bertrum. Along with Cathy, Matthew and myself, Rie headed off on a fishing trip to the ocean where the 'rod hours' to catch a King Salmon or 'Chinook' are far fewer than in the Inside Passage.
Allen, Rie and Cabin

Captain AllenFrom Juneau we roared out to sea at 20 knots to Elfin Cove, about a six-hour journey. Elfin Cove is a small (pop. 18), self described, "Drinking town with a fishing problem." This charming community has a small inner harbor that is protected from the ocean swells. Rie has a cabin in 'the Cove' but doesn't visit it much as she tends to head to Tenakee instead. The locals were pleased as punch to see Rie in town again. We had dinner at Coho's Pizza Place and chatted with one and all.

In the morning we headed out to Deer Harbor, legendary for its salmon runs. We got down to business pulling up fish in fairly rough seas--4-5-foot swells from the SE with rain. I was concerned that this trip might be a bit rough for my 90-year-old mother who spent the day in bed, as did our five-year-old son. I was ready to cancel the trip but she assured me that as long as she lied down she felt fine. Furthermore, she had forgotten to take her Dramamine before the rough seas hit.

Matthew Bonks After six hours of fishing we ducked into Surge Bay for the night. The serene bay calmed our stomach and nerves and we all enjoyed fresh King salmon for dinner. The next day was calmer and with everyone taking Dramamine an hour before we headed out, no problems! We caught a couple of salmon and a few rockfish. Matthew reeled in some fish but mainly 'bonked' them. I had a huge bull Sea Lion breach out of the water and take a salmon off my line as I was fighting it!It grabbed the 20-pounder and bit it in half shaking his head. Rie didn't fish but had loads of fun watching all the action. That evening we pulled in to another idyllic location, Greentop Harbor.

The third day we fished until we had enough salmon and headed in to the small town of Pelican. There is a famous bar in town called Rosie's. Don't confuse that with the other famous bar in Tenakee also called Rosie's. What's up with that? Anyway we headed up to Rosie's for a little cheer after three days at sea. Traveling with a celebrity like Rie to a bar has its benefits and the drinks were flowing. Rie ordered a martini which she has on occasion, but wasn't ready for the 'special drink' they mixed for her. It was at least a double and things got quite jolly! Finally we switched to water, regained our composure and had a nice dinner.

Matthew and Rie We were planning to fly out the next morning but Mother Nature had other things in mind. The fog set in and we were 'overheaded' by our float plane. The same thing happened the next day but we had fun walking around Pelican, eating fish and of course stopping at Rosie's. Rie said she was going to order a beer so they couldn't spike it. Allan said, "They can spike anything at Rosie's!" Rie had a grand time and wants to do it again.

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