never dreamed I could
be so happy on a 26’ boat
Jim and Helen...
Jim is a retired electronics engineer; Helen a retired school teacher.
They have cruised the Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas, California, Canada and
Alaska aboard their Skipjack 26. Recently they purchased a Skipjack 30
which is bound for the Pacific Northwest and a five month cruise to Glacier
Iceberg, Juneau, Alaska
for extended comfortable cruising...
"Helen and I trailered our 26’ Skipjack Sea Fox 1270 miles
from our home in California to Anacortes, Washington. We cruised the Inside
Passage through British Columbia and up to Juneau, Alaska. We saw wildlife
on land, sea and air. The glaciers we visited awed us. We dodged big icebergs
and put small ones in our ice chest. In the course of the trip Helen identified
85 bird species, and I caught Halibut, Ling Cod, Yellow Eye and King Salmon.
We had been gone 77 days and had covered over 3,200 miles — we were grateful
for our choice of diesel power. We fished, cruised and explored at our
pleasure, taking advantage of whatever the scenery had to offer.
never worried about the boat performing or letting us down.”
— Helen L.
We ran the Yuculta
Rapids outside Big Bay where a current of 10 knots was running. Given
deep water the rapids are fun in Sea Fox. Sometimes we would slow down
just to feel spins and let the rapids play with us. Other times we motor
through at our usual 25 knots. I have never seen a place like Alaska where
the wind is always in your face: Alaskans say, “If the sun shines, the
wind blows”. We hit strong North winds (25 knots) and a nasty chop in
Stephens Passage. The tugs (our two buddy boats) turned around and went
back to Entrance Island. Sea Fox went on to Windham Bay.
Chapin Cove we had 30’ of water just off a reef, and when I turned to
move offshore a little, the depth dropped to 150’ in a few boat lengths.
I decided to fish this steep slope. On the second drift nothing happened...
then it felt like I had snagged my lure on the bottom. I pulled hard on
the pole but the lure never budged. I was about to tell Helen to back
the boat up when “the bottom” started moving and tugging on the line.
I said, “Oh my God...”, and the battle began! I’d reel him up, and he’d
swim back down. This was the biggest halibut I had ever hooked. After
30 minutes he wasn’t stripping line like before. I told Helen, “I think
we’re getting tired”. She asked if I meant myself or the fish... I told
her both of us. When I finally got him to the surface we looked with amazement.
He looked big and dangerous. Our net was useless; the fish was wider and
a lot longer. We tried to lasso his tail but failed. Then Helen had an
idea and made a loop around my line with the dock line, dropped it over
his head and pushed the loop down over his body with the boat pole...
It worked! We had an angry, large Halibut by the tail. It was taller than
Helen at 65” in length and weighed at least 130 pounds. “
things considered, we pronounce this the vacation of a life time”.