Thursday, September 11, 2014

Salmon and More -- 9/10/2014

Under cloudy skies we leave Pleasant Harbor at 9A -- early so we will have most of the day to enjoy the amenities at Alderbrook Resort and Spa, farther down Hood Canal. We have one to two foot seas most of the way.

There is fog on the Olympic Mountains at the very upper level.

It is interesting to note the tide level, which is about mid-way to low tide right now.  The variation at Pleasant Harbor is 11 feet, and the ramps to the floating docks are very steep.

We are alone on the water for a while, but one and a half hours into the cruise we see the first boat. It is very peaceful as we glide along at hull speed.  Signs along the way post warnings to stay off the oyster beds.

At Dewatto Bay we observe a small fishing boat going back and forth across our intended route. Watching carefully, we realize he has a fish on the line and he is trying to bring it in.  

His boat goes in circles as he fights to win.

MoonShadow Approaches

Leaving the fisherman behind, we are now back to watching scenery and this small beach with its driftwood that could tell a few stories.

A little less than three miles from our destination we round The Great Bend of Hood Canal and the water is now rippled.  The sky is brighter, but no sun -- yet. Just as we are slowing to no wake speed, the sun pops out to welcome us and promise a great day!

Then the front immediately moves in!   We tie up Willie's Tug on the outside dock and Herb has to re-tie some lines and add another fender to the starboard side.  The water gets really choppy.  We consider moving to the inside of the dock, but do not want to give up the view of the Olympics.  So we bounce.

Find Willie's Tug bouncing on wind waves....

Assured all is secure, we walk up to the Hotel and take a look around.  Vicki has already seen that the pool is warm and the hot tub and saunas are ready for us. 

Herb and Bruce enjoy floating, as well as swimming.  

I can tell you the hot tub and steam room are fabulous!

At 5P we walk up to the garden area for a demo by The Restaurant at Alderbrook Chef Justyn on how to filet salmon.  He has a five pound Coho and explains each step as he processes the fish.

First Chef wipes the salmon clean outside and inside with a cloth. Then he cuts the head off right behind the fin, and saves to make soup.

With a sharp knife he slides right against the bone without taking any bone.  If he had cut some bone, it could be removed, but is extra work.

The meat left against the bone can be used to make tartare.

Chef now drags his knife against the pin bones to expose them and removes with tweezers.  It takes a while, as he pulls only one or two at a time to keep from tearing the meat.  His belief is that a dinner guest would expect to find no bones at the price he pays in a restaurant.  He gives them a good experience.

To remove the skin, he begins his cut near -- not at -- the end of the filet, and with a cloth he grabs the skin, pulling and wiggling it against the knife. 

He cleans and seasons the grill with a cloth of sea salt and olive oil, and depending on the flavor he wants, he bastes each side with one or more of three different olive oils.  

Chef turns the filets when easily lifted, then tests doneness by feel.  This is an acquired skill.

Finally, he finishes with olive oil and serves to us.  

The chop lessens quite a bit by sunset, and we anticipate a gentle rock as we sleep tonight. 

Mount Washington
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Wednesday, September 10,  2014

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