The Dungeness crab season begins the same way each year, with the same questions.
Will it start on time? When, exactly, will that time be? Will the crab crew from last season be back? Will there be a strike? Will there be weather issues on the start date, or issues surrounding the readiness of crab to be caught? When will the best weather window occur to get the boat to Westport?
Each year has gotten off to a different start.
One year, the start date was the day after Thanksgiving. I drove to Westport that year with our dogs (a one-year old Mandy, and a 6-wk old Toby) and enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal in the galley of the Vis with George, Bryan, and Andy. Doug spent the evening with his friends somewhere in Westport.
It was a great time. We went to the Red Apple to shop for our meal and ran into other captains and crews, along with some of their families, who had also made the trip for the holiday.
I’ll never forget the way the cozy light glowing forth from the galley windows of the crab boats tied up one after another along the docks lit up that dark and rainy night. That Thanksgiving evening became one of my most cherished holiday memories.
Another year, the crab season was set to begin within a couple days of my due date with Eva, and we weren’t sure how that was going to work. Would I deliver my baby at the hospital with the help of a friend, or would George get a relief captain to dump the pots so he could be there? (In the end, George was there for the birth, and the crab season started two weeks late).
George took yesterday off from gear work and declared it Family Day. We packed up the little ones and headed down the road to attend the baby shower of his cousin, Arthur, and his beautiful, seven-months pregnant wife, Marie.
Arthur mentioned to George that he had heard of some kind of problem with the California crab fleet. When we arrived home last night, I turned on NW Cable News and read on the ticker that Washington crab fishermen were preparing for a delay to the start of the season.
Business as usual!