We’re pleased that our internet connection has been re-established, at least for the moment, and it’s a good thing since our stay in Valdez is exceeding expectations in most every possible way.
You know the day has to go well when a fish jumps right into your boat. Yep, true story. I had been hesitant to take AK Kid fishing until now; the mere idea of chasing a small child around the deck of a boat filled with fishers hell bent on catching limits was not number one, or even number two, on my list of family-friendly activities. But bending to pressure from friends who want to take their own kids on a fishing charter, I’ve begun a quest for outfits who welcome and even cater to kids. And I think I’ve found one. Imagine that.
With deep appreciation to Dave Petersen, Executive Director of the Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau, himself a dad of three and a staunch supporter of AKontheGO’s mission, AK Fam spent a good part of today fishing the calm waters in and around Valdez with Captain Wes and his lucky touch that netted us that “boat fish”, as AK Kid called it. A salmon, in the throes of pre-spawn hilarity, flipped right out of the water and right into Wes’ dinghy. Whoa.
Sound Excursion Charters, owned by Wes and Amy Lundburg, is a fishing, sightseeing, and water taxi service that fits a family’s need to fish with the balance of kid-attitude (or lack of, in our case today). Wes too is a dad and totally understood us in ways other charter outfits might not. He also has a day job as the Academic Dean of Prince William Sound Community College, so his knowledge of history and industry in Valdez makes the trip even more interesting. Wes kept us all engaged, AK Kid the most, and knew our need for frequent snack breaks, or story breaks, or the inevitable potty break, and that old “I’m bored” break. Yep, Wes got it. Things of course were a little trickier due to chilly, rainy weather that kept us shivering and indoors, and the fact that the silvers just weren’t biting, darn it, but Wes kept the faith and kept AK Kid busy watching the GPS and fish finder (thank god for THAT).
Departing the Valdez Small Boat Harbor around 7 a.m. and out until 1 p.m., Sound Excursions will take up to six people (cozily; four is best) out and about the harbor area and further, fishing for around $160/pp, $600 for an exclusive party (up to six). Expensive? Yes, but every fishing excursion is, and if your kids want to fish, you have to pay. Wes and Amy also offer stream fishing trips, kayak transportation with their water taxi service, and sightseeing trips for those who want to see where the mountains truly do meet the sound. Waterfalls, sea lions, and the occasional orca are all part of the package. We witnessed huge sea lions chomping on salmon and barking and blowing their way around us, creating the only sound once we shut the engines down while fishing for rock fish near Potato Point, some 20 minutes from Valdez.
Wes says he’ll teach clients as much or as little as they want, from baiting hooks to trolling, and even the all mighty thump when a fish is finally caught. Cool, especially if boys around the 10 or 11 age are aboard. Heh heh. No silver salmon for us today, but we hooked into some rock fish, ate some trail mix, and swapped Alaska stories to the silvery
music of the sound.
Not too bad. Not too bad at all.