Author Topic: What is it about Tolmans and puking dogs?  (Read 2314 times)

Offline tolman_paul

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What is it about Tolmans and puking dogs?
« on: August 07, 2008, 03:58:03 PM »
We departed Whittier at about noon on Friday.  Typically I like to get in the water around 8 am, but we had so much stuff to pack and were busy with other activities we weren’t packed the night before, and after staying up past midnight I didn’t want to push everyone to an early start, especially myself.  Fortunately we made it to the tunnel 5 minutes early, just enough time to make a noon time breakfast.  We got through the tunnel fine and proceeded to the launch ramp.  I could tell the boat was heavily loaded with 5 people, two coolers, 90# ice, food, our big dog and clothing, camping gear et al.  I have a 55 gallon permanent tank, and had guestimated we’d burn 18-20 gallons to green island, perhaps another 20 gallons running out to the fishing grounds, then 20 gallons back.  So I brought 25 additional gallons of fuel in two 12 ½ gal portable tanks.  With all the weight we seemed to be running a bit slower and burning more fuel, but once I got the engine trimmed out it seemed to improve.


My plan was to run to the point I’d caught the lingcod and so some fishing.  The first portable tank stopped drawing after I got 11 gallons out of it, so I switched to the other tank.  We got to the fishing spot and started drifting over it.  This past weekend had some of the highest tide changes in the lunar cycle, and we arrived a bit before high slack tide.  The tide wasn’t moving too fast, so we didn’t need to fish really heavy jigs.  After the second drift I hooked a small yellow eye rockfish, then a kelp greenling.  John got a pink salmon.  Everyone was getting tired of the slow fish so we headed to Green.  The water conditions were perfect, not quite glass calm, but close enough that the only thing that kept me from running wide open was the desire to maximize fuel economy.  I typically run the engine to burn about 7 gallons/hour which pushes us along at ~22 knots.  That’s a pretty decent clip, but it’s still a solid 2 hour run to the spot we fished, and another hour to green island.  I wanted to do some fishing along the way, but the consensus from the crew was hit green and set up camp.  We made it into the Gibbon Anchorage on Green, and I ran in slowly keeping an eye on the depthfinder, chart and notes on a cruising guide to PWS.  I found a protected spot that seemed to allow sufficient swing from the anchor to keep us off the rocks at low tide.  I anchored up, then dropped the dinghy and kayak into the water.  We rowed to shore to look for a spot to set up a tent.  This area is truly a rain forest with very thick vegetation at the shore edge, and rocky ridges covered with thick moss and nearly head high huckleberry bushes.  We trudged further inland until we found a meadow.  The ground was flat enough to pitch a tent, but it sounded and felt like a wet sponge when walking on it.  We elected to sleep on the boat.  We started gathering firewood for a fire on the beach, and brought our camp stove and dinner preparations on shore.  The section of land was perfect for this, nice and flat and at high tide the area covered with water so our camp fire was well and goodly extinguished and cleaned up each high tide. 

 
The next morning we arose late, and rowed to shore for breakfast.  It was near lunch time when we cleaned up and decided to head inland to see if we could find any deer.  We headed directly into the thick brush from where we ate and trudged along a ridge through huckleberries and moss.  After awhile we skirted around to the edge of a clearing.  We hiked through one clearing, and stopped for lunch.  After that we headed through some trees into another clearing.  As we headed along a deer trail a buck broke from cover running straight away from me.  I raised the gun, only managed to get the front scope cap off, cycled a round and by the time I had the deer in my sights it would have been a 100+yd off hand shot at the south end of a buck, with a .223.  My son wanted to get a deer so I was carrying the .223 instead of the .308.  I just couldn’t see letting loose a wild shot, or worse yet having my children see a deer take a poor wounding shot.  I figured kicking up a buck w/o much effort meant there would be little problem seeing more deer.  We headed into thick brush towards where the buck ran, but no sign of him.  We covered more dense terrain then headed back to the beach.


We had another camp fire on the beach that evening and I’d wanted to hunt the evening, but everyone wanted to get some shuteye, so we headed back to the boat.  I was thinking the next day would be ideal to do some fishing and hunting, but My wife just wanted to hike around the Island, as she just isn’t keen on boating.  The boat is relatively comfortable, but loud.  So I figured so long as mama is happy everyone is happy, and we planned another day or hiking (hunting).  We went back to the same meadow, and didn’t see any deer.  We headed further to the North of the Island into some thick growth, and the children enjoyed feasting on huckleberries.  We skirted the meadow and explored south towards the beach, but no deer.


Even though the trip was planned to be a 5 day trip getting back on Tuesday, there was some grumbling about getting back on Monday.  I relented and said we’d head back a day early, and figured we could fish hard on the way back to Whittier.  Well around 3-4 am I was awakened to the sound of a sick dog, who was a few feet from my head.  Once I was conscious enough to figure out what I was hearing and started to open the door for him, he threw up on the floor of the cabin.  I cleaned that mess up, and then he threw up on the fishing deck.  I figured he may be sick from both ends, so rowed him to shore.  I was almost to shore when he threw up again.  He’d be drinking from various water seeps on the island and must have picked up some sort of bug.  Either that or it was the clam chowder somebody knocked over and he ate up the night before.  Well he ran into the bushes and came out a bit later.  I rowed him back and he wasn't anxious to get back on the boat.  I finally persuaded him to climb back on board, and as soon as I lay down to go back to sleep, he hopped back in the dinghy.  Not wanting to clean up more of a mess I rowed him back to shore.  He proceded to eat grass, then when he heard a sea otter dive near by he started barking at it and acted like he was going to swim out to it.  I figured he was feeling better, so I rowed him back.  He showed no interest in climbing back in the boat, so I left him in the dinghy for the night.  I managed to get back to sleep, then got up around 9.  The dog looked pretty shabby from a night sleeping on the dinghy, and he’d managed to throw up again.  I rowed him to shore again.  We finally got to shore for breakfast and decided to head back as soon as we cleaned up. 


While the first 3 days of the trip had been almost dead calm, there was an afternoon breeze kicking up from the south.  The water wasn’t rough enough to slow down running from Green, but would have been unpleasant to fish from.  With a sick dog and a family anxious to get home, I wasn’t going to make any detours to extend the trip.  We got back to the area we’d fished on the way out and started to fish.  We were maybe an hour before slack tide, and the tide was ripping pretty good.  We drifted the ridge a few times, I picked up a pair of quill back rockfish, Larissa hooked a small ling cod we threw back, and that was it.  As we headed back to port I could see the wind and waves were picking up.  On the way down we ran between culross and perry island, but I decided to take a longer more protected route on the way back which heads through culross passage.  As we got about ½ way to the S end of the passage the water had picked up to 2-4’ seas and I had to slow down to about 17 knots.  The boat handles the water fine, but you have to keep your eyes out for the occasional deep trough between waves so you can slow down and ease into the trough vs. slamming into them.  Finally we turned the corner into the passage, were shielded from the wind and the water was a mere chop.  The passage goes by pretty quickly, but there are 3 narrows, and the top most I really slowed down for as I hadn’t run it yet this year and new you needed to be careful of rocks in the channel.  We made it out fine and then we were in the Northern mouth of the passage, which was exposed to the wind from the North and the waves had picked up.  I pulled into a bay to the East to take a break.  Then we headed out into Well’s passage which typically has the roughest water and somewhat confused seas.  Sure enough the wind off the glacier, swells and other winds made for a pretty good slop.  There were no really big waves, but I had to slow down to 13 knots.  The boat handled the slop fine, and once we cleared pigot point the water seemed almost calm.  I was back up to 17 knots, then 22 knots.  We made it back into port just before 6pm, and surprisingly the rough sections and detour through the passage didn’t end up adding much time to the trip and I don’t think I burned much more than 20 gallons coming back.

While I didn't get any venison and just a mediocre amount of fish, it was the furthest I've run the boat, and a chance to get out in different conditions.

The costco airfloor dinghy get's high marks, and same for the pelican 10' kayak.

Offline AlasKen

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Re: What is it about Tolmans and puking dogs?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2008, 09:58:45 PM »
How's the dog now?  Sorry to hear about the dog, I know what a pain that is.  Glad you didn't wake up with an ear full. 

Sounds like a fun trip anyway.  I have decided with my wife that an overnight is about her comfortable limit.  2 days on the boat and she is ready to do something else.  3 nights at a forest service cabin is as long as she wants to stay.  She will fish 12 hours straight though without complaint, if it isn't rocking and rolling.

The coves in Three Hole Bay were just like a bathtub.  Not a ripple.  There were also some good anchorage area's.  I think our next overnight will be Coleman Bay at the head of Aialik Bay.
Kenneth Dodson
Crystal Dawn
24' Jumbo

Offline tolman_paul

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Re: What is it about Tolmans and puking dogs?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 10:37:17 AM »
The dogs fine, he's needed to loose weight anyhow  ;D

My wifes fine with the multi day trips, it's spending all day boating that she doesn't want to do.