There hasn’t been much to report in the eight days since the 2009 halibut and blackcod longlining season began.
Storms have kept George and the boat landlocked for about a week. However, as my dad pointed out, with the looming eruption of Mt. Redoubt and the canceled flights between Seattle and Anchorage, there probably isn’t much fresh halibut leaving the Gulf of Alaska, anyway. So, perhaps the Gulf storms have been a blessing in disguise. You have to stay positive, right? Right!
The crew did have one fun day last week when they drove to Homer to pick up a part for the boat. George surprised me with a colorful description of how it felt to drive through the volcanic ash from Mt. Redoubt. He compared it to driving into a blanket of fog and said that the way the ash settled on of the snow around them, creating a top layer of brown and gray, was pretty neat. He described how incredible it was to look (from their seats at a local saloon) across Cook Inlet at the cloud of ash, smoke, and steam spewing out of the top of the gigantic volcano.
Because George is not a big talker, I knew by the way he spoke of the events that they were sights to behold. The other event he shared was about a visit with dear and longtime friends of my family, Dani and Brian, who live in a cabin along the Kenai River in Sterling. Although George did not give the couple advance notice that three or four men were about to descend upon their cabin doorstep, Dani and Brian welcomed the group with characteristic open arms.
Everyone enjoyed the visit as well as the two homemade cakes and chicken noodle soup (made from scratch) that Dani magically prepared in a matter of minutes while the men were out in the shop, admiring Brian’s astonishing knife collection.
“It was fun to see them,” Dani wrote to me in an e-mail. “And I did my best to fill them up on some home cookin’ and laughter while they were here.”
That sums up the Dani and Brian that I’ve known my entire life. George was grateful for the generosity and welcome, especially on such short notice. It was an afternoon he won’t forget. (And because he doesn’t get much in the way of home cooking around here, I know he was doubly thankful!)