To Call or Not to Call…

I congratulated myself just this morning for not giving in and calling the satellite phone even one time during the 2009 blackcod and halibut season. For that matter, I don’t believe I called it during this year’s crab season, either.

My congratulations were a little premature, however, since I gave in tonight and called the satellite phone three times (and have yet to receive an answer).

When George and I were newly dating and he was a young partner/captain in a Bering Sea vessel, we managed to ring up a $3000 satellite phone bill in one month, which was taken care of by what I liked to call “magic money.”  Later on, when George bought our family operation, we racked up a $1500 satellite phone bill in one month. That phone bill was not taken care of by magic money, but we were unencumbered and didn’t have many other expenses, so it wasn’t a real crisis.

I never forgot the shock of opening those bills and reading the amount due, however, and learned my lesson. Since then, I’ve made it a point to never call the satellite phone unless I am genuinely worried or have “unbelievable news” that absolutely cannot wait. Since neither of those is the case very often these days, our satellite phone bill remains quite small.

The last time I talked with George, he thought he’d be across the Gulf of Alaska and into Southeast Alaska (where he’d have cell coverage) on Tuesday. I didn’t worry when he didn’t call yesterday, and I didn’t think much about it today. I definitely don’t think too much about these things, because once I do, I overthink.

George is an eternal optimist. His Tuesday is anyone else’s Friday. My dad said George was going to have good weather, so I have to assume the delay means they’re in the middle of catching the rest of the quota and will soon be on their way to cell coverage…and then home.

The task now is to remember what G always says when he answers the phone after I’ve tried calling 50 times and started to worry: “Everything’s fine, hon. Just like it always is.”

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