Date: Sept. 3
September mileage: 85.8
Brian and I had a successful day out at South Island - three silvers and a baby halibut, and enough failed action to keep us rushing around the small boat for the better part of the day. Part of the draw for me was a chance to motor all the way out to a point 20 miles south of Juneau, down Stephens Passage and along the Glass Peninsula - places I have never seen, as close as they are to my home. New space is always appealing, whether I get there on a bike or in a fishing boat, and if I can venture outside the all-inclusive border of the City and Borough of Juneau, all the better.
On the way back to town, the prop on Brian's motor spun out and broke. Brian was pretty bummed about it as we limped back into port at trolling speed. "This probably ends my season," he said. Special-order part that could take a couple weeks to come ... then the fix ... and by then the big storms of fall will have settled in. Just as I started to say something sympathetic, Brian said, "This would be like someone running over Pugsley." The quieted me down, because I finally understood what he was losing with his broken boat. It's interesting how much happiness stock we put in our toys - not that I think that's a bad thing. Just interesting.
But even Brian agreed today wasn't a bad way to end the fishing season - drifting through the mist to a point in the world that you can still have all to yourself for an entire day. That we caught a healthy number of fish during a time when no one's been catching much was a bonus. I grilled up a halibut fillet for dinner. Since Geoff left town in mid-August, I'd have to say that halibut was the first real meal I cooked for myself, and one of only about three home-cooked dinners I've eaten. There are few things more satisfying than coming home wet and cold from a long day of fishing, changing into something soft and dry (with thick wool socks), tossing up a big veggie salad with a fruit salad on the side for dessert, and pan-frying a two-hour-old halibut slab to perfection. I use safflower oil and a little lemon, salt and pepper. That's all you need. Then purposely undercook it, just a little. It's like eating a moist, warm cloud ... a cloud that's tart, rich and satisfying. Fresh halibut is hard to wreck, so for someone like me who doesn't cook, preparing something that's so delicately delicious is especially enjoyable.
I renewed my gym pass tonight and spent 80 minutes after dinner running intervals to try to burn off the pound of halibut I inhaled. I had hoped to save my money and do all of my fall training outside, but I had a change of heart and decided not to be a hero about it. I'm recognizing that training 100 percent outside during the fall is probably just a quick road to burn-out, so I'm going to take indoor breaks from time to time.