September 28, 2009
How was Alaska? My mind races, my emotions whirl, physical and mental exaustion brings everything to mind at once. The seemingly endless mecanical failures,scarcity of fish, relentless wind and sea paired with days of perfect hamony of weather, man, machine, and abundance of fish. We had weeks of trying so hard and earning so little, and then we had hours of success that produced more than those weeks of struggle.
It was "A first year" as they say, that I will undoubtedly forget by the time the season rolls around. And thats what suits one for fishing. You learn from your mistakes, heighten your awareness, forget those times of misery and remmeber those moments of sun shine and easy fishing. So how do you answer that question?
Murphies Law is undisputable. If it belongs on a fishing boat and you need it to fish, we broke it. We broke it once, and we broke it twice. Without gettting to technical, if it floated when we got it, we sunk it while using it, if it spun freely we froze it up. If a line seemed new and strong we cheifed it, snapped it, spliced itback to gether, snapped it, spliced it and snapped it again. If the weather was bad and the fleet was tied up, we were setting our net. If the season closed for 22 hours, half the crew were at the welding shop for 22 hours with bits of metal to restore and the other half were tracking down the local mecanic to come fix another part of us so we could go fishing again.
We had crew fall overboard, bar fights in the local taverns, sharks in our nets, and what seemed to be just about every Alaskan adventure. We had moment after moment of total dispair. Relentless challenges, wore down those on the crew who seemed at first to be the most promising with their years of experience and proclaimed importance and then they quit. While those who started as the unexperienced, became the expereinced, and stuck it through to the end of the rainbow, where we eventually found a little pile of silver.
We worked harder and longer than those around us, while catching fewer fish all summer long. But we lasted longer and ended up catching and passing some of our local competitors. Would I do it again? I can't freaking wait.