If you are still baffled about a Christmas gift for that special operson in your life, here is one last suggestion. It's a long shot, but who knows, it could pay off with a memorable experience in 2008.
The Carson Middle School eighth grade volleyball team is currently holding its second annual fund raising raffle.
That raffle will award some lucky winner with an Alaskan salt water fishing trip for two persons in the summer (July 1-2-3) of 2008.
The raffle tickets are $25 each or five (5) for $100. This raffle is limited to 600 tickets. The winner could be that special person in your life.
The drawing will be Feb. 18 and you need not be present to win.
The prize package includes $1,000 cash for airfare/hotel reservations, etc., plus 3 days and 2 nights on a 52-foot by 16-foot sport fishing yacht ("Short Circuit") out of Homer on July 1-3.
That's impressive: An Alaskan fishing trip in July for only $25. How in the heck can you go wrong!
On that trip, you will be fishing for halibut, salmon, lingcod, yellow-eye and rock fish. Best of all, you will be fishing 11-12 hours each day!
You will be with Captain Robert (Rob) and his son Roland Maw, who have over 55 years of experience of salt water fishing in Alaska.
"Short Circuit" is a twin-diesel engine, sport fishing yacht with accommodations for six plus a crew of two.
Some of its amenities include: Hot/cold water, hot showers, entertainment center, heated rooms, large salon. Also, all tackle, bait, rods and reels, fishing cockpit with tackle and bait centers and large roomy fishing area. Fish holds are available with ice to store catch.
The overnight trips include fresh-caught seafood dinners in the coastal region of Cugach Islands and Nuka Bay, large breakfasts, hearty lunches, and non-alcoholic beverages. All overnight trips include shore excursions while that evening's dinner is being prepared.
You will need to provide your own: Layered clothing (Don't forget rain gear!), medication, seasick pills or patches (if needed), boat shoes and waterproof hiking boots (for shore excursions), personal toiletry, sleeping bag and pillow, camera and whatever alcoholic beverage you drink.
1. The boat is equipped with both 12v and 110v power. All chargers for digital cameras and camcorders will work to keep you ready for that great shot.
2. On board laptop computer is also available for photo downloading and CD burning.
3. Entertainment center TV/VCR/DVD and stereo available for your enjoyment.
4. New in 2007 was a hydrophone (an underwater mic for listening to whales and other sealife)
5. Added in 2006 was a underwater camera for fish viewing and exploration.
If you get tired of fishing, Harvest Times Charters also offers whale watching, bear viewing, along with seeing sea otters, sea lions, marine birds, and Bald Eagles, plus photographing tide-water glaciers.
Last year's winners were Larry and Gloria Salisbury of Minden, who each caught halibut in the 50-pound class. They have already bought their tickets for 2008, "Just to support a good cause, although it would be great to win again." The Salisburys are planning to repeat the fishing trip again, whether they win or not in this year's raffle.
According to Gloria, "We had such an incredible time. Robert is extremely knowledgeable of the sport and the waters. And, he is a great cook! We enjoyed fishing during the day and eating delicious gourmet meals in the evenings. We would do it again in a heartbeat!"
The fund raiser funds will be used for volleyball team uniforms, equipment, tournament fees, travel expenses, etc.
Special Hint: If you are the lucky winner, you might want to consider the following: Fly to Anchorage and rent a vehicle. Go sightseeing, souvenir shopping and stay overnight in Anchorage. The next day, drive to Homer (a total time of 4 hours of driving). Along the way, take the time to photograph the Dall sheep on the rocky ledges above the highway (as you drive along the spectacular Turnagain Arm). Make a short side trip (seven miles) to take the 2-hour boat cruise to see Portage Glacier. Stop to watch the "Combat Fishermen" where the Kenai and Russian Rivers come together. And last but not least, have a drink at the world-famous Salty Dawg Saloon on the Homer Spit, when you arrive at Homer.
For information about Harvest Time Charters, go to website www.harvesttimecharters.com or call (775) 721-6955.
For raffle tickets or information, call Jean Bailey at 882-9519.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon he can't tell you if Don Q has ever fished in the Homer area of Alaska.
If he grins, draws a deep breath and says, 'Don has fished at Ninilchek (once), Anchor Point (three times) and Homer (once)," he could have been a fishing partner on one of those fishing trips.
• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.