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Hanging out in Juneau

Airship Goes to Alaska

Yesterday we did a bunch of errand-y stuff…did laundry at the laundromat, got some good rubber gloves at the marine store, got more fishing stuff, put together the rail-mount fish cleaning table and installed it, organized all the fishing gear, cleaned out the lazarette, cleaned the grill, and just did a bunch more general organizing, rearranging, and cleaning…basically, getting ready for guests!

Last night we decided to go out to dinner in town and chose The Rookery Cafe. Several of our friends had recommended it, it had good Yelp reviews, and we were in the mood not to cook!

On the waterfront between Harris Harbor and town:


I love this mural on the City Hall building, with the totem faces on actual animals. The mural was painted by local artist Bill Ray, and depicts the Tlingit mythology of creation when Raven discovers mankind in a clam shell:


Dinner was fabulous. We started with a crudo of king salmon with creme fraiche, horseradish and nasturtium leaves, and shared a delicious caesar salad. We ordered two entrees to share: (1) a seared Alaskan halibut with carrot puree, pickled carrots, and sauteed broccoli rabe…


…and (2) more king salmon. with figs, black lentils, and mustard:


Both dishes were excellent, but I think we liked the salmon a tiny bit better…mostly because of the accompanying lentil/fig/mustard combo. Our waitress convinced us to try a dessert a bit later on, as it was fantastic too! 


I don't remember exactly what it was called, but these are little dense cakes, with marcona almonds, figs, I think that was basil, a balsamic vinegar reduction, and…another sweeter, creamy sauce…it was SO GOOD, and not too sweet. 

The overhead lamps in the cafe are a nice touch:


The service here was very good as well. We'd definitely recommend (and come back to) The Rookery! (We hear it's great for breakfast, too!)

Today will be a bit more erranding and I think a boat wash is in order. The weather forecast looks great for this week. Tomorrow, with Tiffani and Deke, we'll do all our provisioning for the week, drive up to Mendenhall Glacier and hike around a bit, return their rental car at the airport and cab it back to the boat, and then head to Taku Harbor for the night. We were going to try to get to the Alaska State Museum (which sounded super cool), but they're closed and moving and won't reopen until May 2016. Next trip!

The F/V San Dollar is in the slip next to us, and we met the owner, Butch Chase, as we arrived yesterday.


Butch is a super nice guy! We've chatted with him (and his wife) several times over the past two days while he's readying his boat for the fishing season. Starting July 1 he'll be out for the whole summer. He came over yesterday and gave us one of his favorite lures. It's a certain kind of squid with a hook, and the squid is ultraviolet so it turns a nice blue underwater. He said it's the only thing he uses now when fishing for king salmon, and then he showed me on the chart several of his very favorite fishing spots on our upcoming route. SO! NICE! 

We were very appreciative, and thanked him many times, and then I put a batch of brownies in the oven to take over before he left for the day (I knew that Costco Ghirardelli box of brownie mix would come in handy) . He was psyched…said he and his wife LOVE brownies! (I figured it was an okay bet that a seasoned Alaska fisherman would probably not be be gluten-free…)

I told him we really appreciated all the information, and he said he thought we were such nice people and he just wanted us to have a great trip up here. (We are already!) Anyway, it was very generous of him. I think we'll try some of those spots on Monday as we head from Taku Harbor to Tracy Arm, and maybe we'll land ourselves a king!