Archive for the ‘Water Time’ Category

2011 Canoe Journey Chronicle of Canoes

August 3, 2011

The Swinomish Tribe hosted the 2011 Inter Tribal Canoe Journey this last week. I live on the other side of the channel and so had a wonderful view of the arrival procession of canoes, and then seven days of protocols, singing and drumming took place in the village. You had to be there. Below are some of the canoes that made the journey, some coming from as far away as the north end of Vancouver Island. Click on the photos to enlarge so you can see the details.

Above a waterproof canvas canoe with wood frame.

Some canoes were made of fiberglass, some were carved out of one red cedar tree, taking over two years to finish.

  This is a gorgeous example of traditional painting of the salmon.

On the right you can see the carving, as well as the gear needed for travel.

The Swinomish built three pavilions patterned after their traditional woven cedar hats, that are at home on the new beach and park they created for the Canoe Journey, afterward for all to enjoy. The Canoes are gone now, but we will all remember the beauty of the songs and the generosity of the Swinomish People.


Chasing the Salmon in Rosario Strait

August 3, 2011

We wake up early, for me, at 5am, make coffee, sandwiches, check our gear for licenses, navigation tools, poles, tackle box, cell phones, gloves, the net, you gotta have a good net, a bucket for me to pee in because I am a girl and have not mastered the bend-over-pee backwards over the rail method…yet. Then we drive to the boat launch, put our $5 in the box, make sure the plug is tight, straps are off, motor is tilted up, and slide our 18 ft. white Weldcraft into the channel.

It takes about 30 minutes to hit the strait and after that I can’t tell you where we go, I have been sworn to secrecy…but if you fish I am sure you know where to put it in neutral, drop your lines, and bring the kicker up to 1.6 knots, try to relax and watch the poles for the jigglies. Sometimes we have an extra passenger.

All these activities are subject to the tides we are trying to catch. As water moves through the strait and pushes up against islands, fish move along the inlets and around the points and  there is where we want to be.

There are three types of salmon out there right now: King, Silver, and Humpy. Or as some refer to them: Chinook, Coho, and Pinks. This is a 22lb. King salmon which was fileted and grilled with garlic and butter.

This turned out to be a white king, which we think might be part of the Frasier River Run up in B.C. White King have a delicate flavor, olive oil or a bit of melted butter are a nice addition, I like to add old apple tree prunings to the coals for more flavor. Traditionally, alder wood smoke is used.  Below is a 8lb. Coho, fileted out. Again, this can be grilled, open faced. We use two grills the same size, that fit our little Weber. Lay the fish out flesh side down on one oiled grill and cook for about 5 minutes. Place the other grill on top, grasp both grills with heat proof gloves and turn the grills over. The fish now lays on the new grill, skin side down. Carefully release the top grill from the beautiful marked flesh. Cook for a total of 10 minutes….this all depends on the thickness of the flesh. The rule of thumb is 7 minutes for each inch of flesh.

This last photo is of a 7lb Humpy we caught a few days ago. Bruce cleaned it, left it whole, stuffed it with lemon slices and roasted it for about 20 minutes, 10 per side, with some Hickory chips on the coals as an experiment. The flesh is very tender and after cooking simply open up, remove the lemon, and pull gently at the back bone and all bones come loose in one slow movement. Traditionally, Humpies, or Pinks are smoked. Some folks think Humpies are not worth the trouble…..this fish is delicious.

So, we’ve been having fresh caught fish and beets, salad greens, cucumbers and green beans out of the garden. I am going to get some pistachios, a couple of limes, and make my sisters cold beet and pistachio salad with lime dressing soon.

Breakfast, a little Salmon prep, some sadness

September 7, 2009

This could be the perfect late summer breakfast. The nectarines are perfectly ripe, the jam is Bob’s Backyard Blackberry, the butter is locally made.


And we will be having fresh caught Skagit Bay Coho, or Silver salmon dinner tonight, from our friend Kurt.

IMG_0119 IMG_0127the one on the bottom is the Coho, the top is a King or Chinook.

We will BBQ the Coho after rubbing with OO and garlic

I’ve been thinking about Sheila Lukins this weekend and how much I love the Silver Palate series of cookbooks, and Around the World Cookbook. I could always sense her particular joy and depth of understanding about ingredients. Though I never met her I am going to miss her spirit. I think she inspired my travels, my culinary adventures……we will light some candles at dinner tonight and celebrate her life.

LaConner, Charming from the Swinomish Channel

September 4, 2009

These are photos coming in from the north, beginning with some new spots on the channel, through town, the Swinomish Crab Fleet, The Rejoice is the LaConner Sea Scouts Vessel, and ending with our famous, orange bridge.






Late in the Day, Full Moon this Evening

September 4, 2009

Here are some photos of this afternoons activities. The area where our pots are placed is Hat Island, just to the east of Guemes Island, part of the San Juan Islands. The crab pot has both Dungeness, big, and Rock, smaller with dark red color.



Here is our Captain at the helm. Monk barks at each crab as it comes aboard, we think it is a greeting.



We found 5 dungeness and 3 rock crab tonight. The cooker is on and we will have fresh crab for Phyllis, Bruces mom, Barbara, who roasts our coffee, and my sister, who has been a vegetarian for many years and is now eating a bit of crab and salmon for protein and omega 3s.

We put in a handful of rock salt or sea salt for every gallon of water in the pot. Cook for 12 minutes and remove to iced down water. Clean as soon as you can handle the shells. Some like it still warm. Some prefer it cold. If you would like a simple sauce for the crab I think mayonnaise with a bit of tomato flavor and just a touch of horse radish, used sparingly is nice.