Archive for Commercial Fishing Crew – Page 2

Do Girls Like Commercial Fishermen?

I’ve written before that one of the most fun parts of writing this blog is keeping an eye on the search terms people use when they are directed here by various search engines. Many people who land here are looking for information on the Dungeness crab season and rigging crab pots, searching for longline vessels or other boats I’ve mentioned by name, or looking for quotes about commercial fishing and commercial fishing photographs.

Every once in a while, a search term comes through that really makes me smile. Yesterday, I received two such searches! Here they are:

1. Pics of a chick with the Walther PPS

2. Do girls like commercial fishermen?

Now, I think the person looking for pictures of a girl with the awesome Walther PPS (a 9mm semi-automatic pistol made in Germany by Walther Sportwaffen) made it to my blog because I’ve written before that I have my very own Walther PPS that I absolutely love.

Although I do have some video and pictures of me popping off a few rounds from the PPS at the range, I don’t think I’ve ever published them here because I know that guns are frightening to many people, and I don’t want to make my mom nervous.

As for the question of whether girls like commercial fishermen, the answer is YES!

Here are some reasons why. The following list is off the top of my head and in random order.

Why Girls Like Commercial Fishermen

1. They are adorable in their baseball hats.

2. They look hot in Carhartts.

3. They are strong.

4. They’re tough.

5. They have endurance.

6. Fishermen will work through sickness, injury, and weather to get it done.

7. They enjoy sitting around a galley table, telling stories and laughing.

8. A fisherman is a man’s man.

9. Fishermen are grateful and appreciative of everything their wives and girlfriends do for them.

10. They are tough and brave, but they don’t boast about it. They simply let their work speak volumes.

11. Fishermen are generous with their money and will help out friends and family in need.

12. They generally have good taste in music.

13. They’re usually up to go out and have a good time in town.

14. They are smart.

15. They can read charts and navigate a boat through storms.

16. Fishermen are not afraid to get their hands dirty and their clothes greasy.

17. Fishermen clean up very well.

18. They like to read.

19. They don’t have to be entertained every second of the day. Are fine with solitude.

20. They can kick a** when they have to, but they don’t let anyone know that until it’s already been done.

21. Fishermen are quick to forgive and move on.

22. They are cute.

23. They have a sense of humor.

24. Fishermen can tackle house projects and complete them with ease.

25. They’re able to identify and troubleshoot almost any car or house issue.

26. They look good riding around in their trucks.

27. Fishermen have steady natures for the most part.

28. They’re quick to smile.

29. They’re loyal to their friends and family.

30. Fishermen are easy to please and are not overly demanding at home.

31. Most fishermen can cook.

Okay, there’s my first thirty-one reasons why girls like commercial fishermen. As always, feel free to chime in with your thoughts!

G Has Arrived…Will Summer Follow Suit?

Well, I’ve finally made it to the second trimester, but I’m not feeling any improvement in yucky pregnancy symptoms yet. I feel awful most days, which accounts for the continuing delay in blog posts! The good news is that so far, all blood tests and ultrasound measurements show a healthy little baby in the works, so that is a relief.

In each ultrasound, the baby’s been flipping and twirling around, which is amazing to see. At the last one, the baby even appeared to give me an excited wave with its tiny hand before the machine was shut down. I keep that image in my mind when I start feeling sick and frustrated. I won’t be able to find out whether it’s a girl or a boy for seven more weeks.

George and the crew arrived home last Saturday. They arrived in port accompanied by rolling thunder several hours earlier than expected. I knew they were going to be early, but I was a bit startled when I looked out my window and saw the boat coming across the bay. You couldn’t miss it; the rows of bright orange buoys tethered on top of the substantial steel shack can be spotted miles away.

My heart pumped with excitement as the kids and I flew out the door, down the stairs, and into the car in a race to the finish. Who would be the first to arrive at the harbor; George or me?! George won by less than ten minutes.

The next day, they unloaded the final halibut delivery (George took some pictures for me, seen below) and the kids and I went down to visit later in the afternoon. Vincent has been asking to drive the boat for the past few months, so G waited for us before moving the boat over to its normal spot in the harbor.

The kids wore their life jackets and boarded the boat, settling into the wheelhouse with Dad. The crew was cute and played along; after the lines were untied and they were ready to move away from the dock, Bryan yelled “All clear, Vincent!” up to the wheelhouse. That made me laugh.

I met them over at the dock across the harbor where I climbed aboard. Johnny showed the kids around the deck and answered their questions and Brett gave them donuts while we all got caught up on the past few weeks and months.

The post halibut/blackcod gear work finished up in what seemed record time, and the crew was picked up by friends, girlfriends, and wives within four days. Now, if our summer would only begin…it’s cloudy, windy, and cold today. Vincent has a bad cold and stayed home from preschool. I love November in July!

 

A Special Father’s Day for G…Father of Three?

About eight years ago, I started to wonder why G and I didn’t have any children. Specifically, I wondered why I could not seem to become pregnant. Everyone else seemed to have the answers, though. Here’s what I heard when the matter was brought up in discussion:

“You’re too anxious.”

“You drink too much.”

“You should stop smoking.”

“You worry too much.”

“George isn’t home enough.”

“You need to relax.”

“You just need a vacation.”

Not only were these comments offensive and uninformed, they made no sense. After all, I was relaxed. My days consisted of going to the gym, walking my dogs, doing a little freelance writing, with no real obligations or anything asked of me. Vacations? George and I went on vacations all the time back then, usually to sunny Florida where we enjoyed rustic beachfront hotels, sun, and surf. I had nothing to worry about or be anxious over, for G took care of everything.

I finally went in to see a doctor who could help. While G was in the middle of the crab season, my mom came down to stay with me for a week and I went in for an exploratory surgery. The surgery confirmed what I knew all along; there were two reasons why I was not conceiving any children. The doctor made a temporary fix and told us we had about three months to conceive before the fix ran out and I’d need to have surgery again or explore alternative options.

Long story short, we conceived Eva during the second month of that window. I called G via satellite phone in Alaska (now in the middle of the halibut and blackcod season) and shared the amazing news. When our miracle Eva was ten months old, and not wanting to take any chances on more delays or problems, we tried for a second baby and that’s how our second miracle, Vincent, came to be.

Flash forward six years, and we have two sweet, smart, and precious children. They are close in age, good friends, and the light of our lives. Now that they are “big kids,” we got rid of all of our baby things. Bye bye two changing tables, two cribs, two car seats. Goodbye bottles, pumps, Desitin, baby bags, tons of diapers in two sizes, high chair, swings, play gyms, blocks, and stacking toys.

Hey, pack your bags everyone! We’re taking trips again! The house is free of baby clutter! We have everything in order with a bit of energy to spare. The kids dress themselves, they’re easy to take everywhere, and becoming more independent everyday. For our baby fixes, we get to love our niece and cousin, “Baby Autumn” and go to Jazzercise and see sweet smiley Bella. Everything is perfect!

But wait…I don’t feel good. Something doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe I should count back some days and study last month’s calendar. Then I move to the computer for some quick research. Next, I go to the store for an unlikely purchase and make a joke to my friend, who is working the register. Cross your fingers, I say.

Back home, I unwrap the box—a three pack. (You girls know what I’m talking about.) I take one. My eyes must be tricking me. I try the second. What? I move onto the third. No way.

I sit on the surprise and shock for ten days before I can reach George, once again in the middle of the Alaska blackcod and halibut season, via satellite phone.

“You’re going to be really mad,” I say. In retrospect, that was probably not the best opening I could have come up with. George thought I had bought a new car! By the end of the conversation, I’m sure he was wishing it was only a new car.

Now nine weeks along and slowly overcoming the shock, it looks like George is going to be a father of three. This has been an extremely long several weeks. Wow. How to sort it all out? With thanks to my Jazzercise friends, the crew, our families, and a book or two, we are slowly getting used to the idea.

I’ve seen the heartbeat on the ultrasound screen and could not believe my eyes. That little peanut with the strong beating heart blew me away. It reminded me what a miracle growing life is, and what a strange thing to be experiencing it again after all the heartache and grief we went through to get our family started in the first place. 

I have a lot of questions, though. Aren’t we too old for this? How on earth did this happen? How will I ever nurse a baby all night and then get up to take my two other children to kindergarten and preschool every morning? How will I take care of three children under six, often without G? And for that matter…will I be giving birth without him this time? The baby is due during the most critical portion of the crab season in January. He absolutely cannot miss that part, for it’s a huge amount of our income for the year. If he cannot be here, which friend will I choose to help me?

Aaah. As my dear friend Amanda pointed out, that’s why we have nine months of pregnancy. Time to get used to the surprise, time to work it all out and get used to the idea of a new direction for the family. G has been a real trooper; shocked and confounded at first and experiencing a bit of denial, he has come around as he always does. Thanks also to our crew; you guys are beyond awesome. They were genuinely excited and full of congratulations for George, and as I’ve experienced, that support, understanding, and joy carries you through the doubt and concern.

Oddly, once this new baby is born, there will be about a dozen kids among G, Bryan, Brett, Johnny, and Oscar. What a great boat family, Jazzercise family, and blood family to belong to. Love all of you so much!

So, Happy Father’s Day, George. I love you for your hard work, loyalty, dedication, strength, perspective, humor, and acceptance for what is. Your two—possibly three—children love you, and so do I. More than words could ever, ever express. I would not want to go through one day of my life without you.

Once Again, Debunking Commercial Fishing Stereotypes

Two years ago, I wrote an informal post about one of the most common commercial fishing stereotypes, which is the drunken fisherman. You can access that post by clicking here. It’s been a while since I’ve come across anything unusually offensive concerning our industry and lifestyle, but last week I was reminded that some people still just don’t get it.

I walked through the doors to pick up my five-year-old daughter, Eva, and my almost-four-year-old-son, Vincent, from one of their summer activities just as one of the teachers was helping Vincent put his boots on the correct feet.

“I just love his little Xtra Tuffs!” she called to me, looking up with a smile.

“I know!” I said. “Aren’t they the cutest? He loves to dress just like Daddy.”

Vincent stands up in his backwards boots (“I like them like that,” he says) and adjusts his oversized gray hooded “Alaska Ship Supply/Dutch Harbor” sweatshirt. He locates a random gentleman in the room, looks up at him and announces, “My daddy is in Awaska. He catches cwab and backcod.”

(Translation: “My daddy is in Alaska. He catches crab and blackcod.”)

“That’s right, Buddy,” I say, beaming. “Daddy is in Alaska. And you get to ride the forklift with Daddy when he’s home, don’t you?”

My little boy is the spitting image of George. In fact, one of his nicknames is Mini G. Vincent is the only boy in either of our families; George and I each have two sisters and no brothers, and Vincent has five girl cousins. He’s the only grandson on either side. He loves boats, forklifts, trucks, and the harbor. Surrounded primarily by girls and women, he adores his dad and grandpa.

“Daddy has a gween boat,” he likes to say. “When I gwow up, my boat is going to be bue and it will be bigger than Daddy’s boat.”

(Translation: “Daddy has a green boat. When I grow up, my boat is going to be blue and it will be bigger than Daddy’s boat.”)

Anyway, I look from Vincent to the gentleman, expecting the stranger to say something kind to my sweet little boy, who happily looks up at him with dark green eyes.

“Well,” the man says, looking down at Vincent. “Hopefully you will go to college so you won’t have to be a fisherman.”

Wait.

What?

My mind races with surprise and disgust. Seriously. Are you kidding? Long ago advice from my sister comes to mind. Don’t unleash the beast!

“Well,” I reply, slowly. “As a matter of fact, we are fifth generation fishermen, and everyone in this last generation did go to college.” (Our degrees include two education, one environmental policy, one English and one accounting.) “We have been successful, often as captains.”

I didn’t bother to mention that my grandfather, the son of Croatian immigrants, started kindergarten without knowing a word of English. When he had to leave school in eighth grade to help support his family, it was with a straight-A report card. I also decided not to mention that there is nothing more rude and inappropriate than looking down at a four-year-old-boy and basically telling him to not be like his daddy (who as a commercial fisherman and human being is one of the sweetest, smartest, mentally and physically tough, strongest, humorous, and capable people I know).

I stopped short of mentioning that commercial fishermen are not all a bunch of uneducated, alcoholic, bumbling idiots. And that one of the smartest and wealthiest IFQ holders in Alaska happens to be the son of a New York attorney, and he chose to fish for a living. Fishermen are also church elders, volunteer coaches, property owners, tax payers, and real estate investors.

Captains must have business sense, for they deal with hundreds of thousands of dollars—if not millions—in gear, fishing vessels, permits, quota, crew shares, and the like. They must adhere to strict national and state regulations, keep detailed logs and figure out where to find the fish, and once the fish are caught, deal with the marketing end of things. Fishermen have mental and physical endurance unmatched by most, and they must juggle the white and the blue collar ends of things simultaneously and well.

Even my own neighbor, a lawyer, claims it’s too difficult to work with fishermen because “they don’t pay their taxes”. Uh, what? Tell that to the captains and deckhands who, because they often make a lot more money than most, also pay more taxes than most. And I guarantee you, our taxes are a lot more complicated than anyone could imagine. That’s why there are maritime accountants that specialize in this field.

Are there deadbeat dad fishermen? Alcoholics? Cocaine addicts? Broke? Cheaters? Of course. Have school teachers slept with their students? Have Wall Street brokers stolen money from clients? Are there alcoholic mothers? Adulterous doctors? Lawyers that owe back child support? Yes, and college degrees have nothing to do with any of it.

But for Pete’s sake, let’s hope Vincent goes to college so he won’t have to become a fisherman. God forbid he go on a boat and work his way from greenhorn to deckboss to first mate to captain. Let’s hope he never knows an honest day’s work and the thrill of standing in a deckload of shimmering sockeye salmon, bringing up line after line of halibut, or haul in pots filled with crab. Hopefully he’ll never learn to work as a team or laugh like crazy as he tells fishing stories.

With any luck, he won’t make lasting memories, lifelong friendships, or take the boat where nobody else goes and look in awe at mountains and islands. Hopefully he won’t enjoy watching dolphins chase the stern or dance about the bow, or be caught by surprise when whales jump out of the ocean’s surface. Why would he want to fall asleep to the gentle rock of a boat or collapse in his bunk, exhausted and spent from his own hard work?

Why would anyone want to make more money in two months than most of America does in over a year of nine-to-five? Who’d want to have months of time off to spend with their family? And for goodness sake, let’s hope Vincent never has a bad season when gear broke down, the fish weren’t there, or the price was terrible. Then he’d have to learn how to save his money, plan for the future, and invest wisely. Who’d want to work in the fresh salty sea air, free and independent? No, I’d never want him to experience any of that.

I decided to get feedback from others in the commercial fishing community via e-mail and our Facebook group, Commercial Fishing Families & Friends. The following (with minor edits) is some of that feedback.

**It could also be that he sees the commercial fishing business as a very dangerous occupation based on what he sees on TV and reads (which it is) and hopes Vince finds a safer occupation when he grows up.

**OMG, I am really shocked. That is a horrible thing to say to anyone.

**Off the top I would say the guy’s response to Vincent, besides being thoughtless, uninformed and boorish, is similar to any comment anyone would make when they feel they have an understanding of any topic, but don’t, in this case commercial fishing.

He evidently feels Vincent’s dad has been ‘sentenced’ to fishing by default, with no other career choices. He obviously sees commercial fishing and fisherman as prefaced by the word ‘common’.

This type of thinking is frankly not too unusual if your only example of commercial fishing is how we are portrayed by reality TV shows like “Most Dangerous Catch’. When fishermen are portrayed as unshaven, yelling, over-reactive, high testosterone, swearing men, who are always getting themselves out of some self- imposed or contrived mess, they are seen as hardworking, but dumb or lucky. Certainly someone you would like to talk to but not have over for dinner. And you certainly wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with one of them.

The fact that most skippers are generally very intelligent, have many skills, are well organized business men who enjoy not working a 9-5 schedule, with families and generally make a lot more money than the general population is never portrayed. Commercial fishermen are often seen as ‘buffalo hunters’ or ‘gold stampeders’ with no families, bank associations, hobbies, kids (that they know of), or any life that approximates other men. In fact, of my crew, five of six were married, three had college degrees, nobody on the boat yelled at each other, no drugs and no drinking problems. Many skippers had their sons fishing with them, and like me, many got college degrees and then went back into fishing.

**What a moron. His statement was not only insensitive but extremely short sighted in my opinion. So many people in the United States believe that higher education is a must to be successful and to question education is unthinkable. Look at all the kids these days that are forced to move home after college because the jobs are non existent and the debt for their education is insurmountable without said job. Whether education is worth the high price is starting to be examined by members of the “American intelligentsia” I read an article just last week on Peter Theil (Pay Pal cofounder and multi billionaire) He believes that we will experience an education bubble not unlike the housing bubble. Anyway, he is putting his money where his mouth is and is offering up $100,000 to twenty kids under twenty to leave school for two years and start businesses instead. I think that’s awesome.

**I have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people; those that produce something, and those that leech off the work of others. Our society seems to reward the leeches!

**Ugh. SO annoying. My favorite is when people say, “Oh, you can actually make enough money to live off of that?”. I politely point out that yes, we do live off of the money earned from fishing. Oh and surprise, surprise, we are both college educated and Mike paid for all of his Bachelor’s degree and college expenses with fishing every summer since the age of 13. We appreciate hard work over video games and sloppy teenagers that sit around the house all summer long. Oh and by the way, do you like salmon? Well, next time you are in a restaurant where you demand to know if the salmon is a wild Alaskan salmon, go ahead and give us a huge thank you for risking our lives to bring you your delicious meal. I hope it wasn’t too expensive, with all of your student loans you are still paying off.

**I went to an anniversary party out of state last week and a guy said what do you do, I said I fish for lobsters. He said yeah I know, but whats your real job? I said that’s it except for crabs and a little shrimping…he looked a little puzzled and said ohhh……

**I am glad that you took the time to put into words your thoughts and reflections of the situation. Hopefully it will educate those out there that don’t know the value of growing up in a commercial fishing family.

I have a letter that my maternal grandmother wrote over thirty years ago where she stated that my father had been “fishing since he was knee high to a seal” she went on in admiration about his perseverance and work ethics. I was blessed to have spent two summers fishing with him in Bristol Bay and witnessing the skill and knowledge it takes to run a boat effectively. I learned so much from him.

 When one of my coworkers heard that I was headed north with him to fish he felt it necessary to warn me about the “Aleuts that walk around drunk and carry guns.” I replied “Really… that’s strange… my father doesn’t do that…” He was looked at me with a confused look on his face and said, “What?” I replied… “Yeah, my father is Aleut, and he isn’t a drunk… nor does he carry a gun.”

I used it as a teaching moment, and I am still good friends with this individual. There are so many stereotypes out there unfortunately. My father had limited schooling, but maximized the skills that he was born with. Fishing runs in our family’s blood. There are a lot of youth that could stand to spend some time on a boat and learning the discipline and work ethics that goes along with it.

**I see nothing wrong with going to college…a good education in business management would help to manage all the $$ your son gets from fishing and he will know how to invest and plan for a future. So many people think fishermen are dumb or at the least uneducated. I know fishermen that have electrical engineering degrees, one who is a math wonder and a few who are just a little crazy and well loved. My point is do what ya love, not what the world wants ya to do.

(Image borrowed from The Faces of California Fishing group on Facebook)

Good Luck. Catch the Quota Quick and Come Back Home!

G and the gang made it out of the harbor around 8 p.m. on Thursday, bound for areas all over Alaska to catch our halibut and blackcod quota. It was a sadder send off for me than usual; I think it’s because G wasn’t home long before leaving again, and the house is especially quiet without both George and our Toby. Poor Vincent is the only guy in the house now! :)

Ah, we’ll survive, though! We always do. These are not the most exciting pictures, but I tried to get a shot of each of the guys so their wives, children, and girlfriends could see them as they left the harbor.

Falling asleep on Daddy the night before.

Johnny, George, Brett, Bryan, Oscar...and future crew, Eva and Vincent.

Bryan on the shack.

Johnny on the bow.

So long...

Happy travels to you all. Hugs and kisses!

Traditional blast of the foghorn and around the breakwater they go.

The Day Before Departure

It’s the day before G and the crew leave for Alaska and the blackcod/halibut longlining season. The crew showed up on Monday and they’ve been working hard getting the boat ready to go. I’m not exactly sure what they’ve done besides put the shack on and load all the groceries because I haven’t made it down to the harbor yet this week.

I normally have plenty of time to get down there, but the week before a big season like this is always hectic on both ends and time just got away. Last year, George was gone from June until October catching our quota. The quota was reduced a bit this year, so I hope that he catches it quick and makes it home before the summer is totally over. That was a long stint last year, even for me, who was born into this life.

I think I’ve got the kids’ summer schedule pretty well planned. A couple of mornings and a couple of afternoons of activities for them each week, and the rest of time free to play with Mommy and go for walks, play on the slip ‘n slide, and go to the lake. They’ll have swimming lessons in August, and I’m going to sign Eva up for a mini art camp. They are also extremely excited to go visit our dear friends who live a few hours away to play and swim in their big outdoor pool. I’m looking forward to that trip myself!

As for me, I can’t wait to attend Bloggy Boot Camp in June and the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association conference in August. I think the children and I have a nice balance of things to keep us moving along without Dad; plenty of activity and plenty of downtime. Now if the sun would finally come out and stay for a while, that would be perfect!

Oh, I almost forgot. I signed up to foster dogs through our local no-kill shelter. George and I fostered many dogs before we had children, and in fact, that is how we were lucky enough to meet and adopt our beloved pitbull Toby, whom you all know recently passed away. I’m not going to foster young, energetic dogs or puppies, however. I’m not up for that at this time.

I told the shelter that I’d prefer senior dogs or dogs recovering from trauma or surgery. Basically, dogs that just want a warm bed on which to sleep, a pat on the head, and a good meal. I also have a very special place in my heart for pitbulls. So if the right fit comes along, I’m looking forward to honoring Toby’s life and memory by taking in a needy dog. It will also be good company for Mandy.

Okay. Off to pick Eva up from preschool and clean the house for our last night all together as a fishing family for the next few months. Will be back with departure day pictures tomorrow night! Have a wonderful and peaceful day.

No Housework? Right!

I learned on Facebook this morning that it’s National No Housework Day! What’s even better than National No Housework Day is one of the images that accompanies the event….

Hilarious.

Of course, it is never No Housework Day when you are a stay at home mom without a housekeeper. Laundry and beds await, as do dishes and everything else. It’s a great idea and an awesome picture, but…maybe next year. That will give me plenty of time to have everything in the house done and in order so I can proclaim the day!

In other news….the boat came home this week.

For the last couple of weeks, G has told the kids “I’ll be bringing the boat home soon.”

That confused 3-year old Vincent, who took G’s statement literally.

“When is Daddy bringing the boat home?” he keeps asking me.

“The boat is home, Buddy,” I reply.

“It’s not home,” he says. “It’s not in front of our house.”

“Oh,” I say. “No. Bringing the boat home means it’s returning to the harbor, not to the front of our house.”

Vincent asks next if Daddy will bring the boat home on the trailer or the forklift.

I’ll let G explain why we can’t dock a steel 58-foot combination fishing vessel in our residential driveway!

As you all know, we always celebrate the boat and crew homecoming. Sometimes we celebrate at home and sometimes we go out. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be up for going out this time, but they were! We had a fun but tame night out this week. We had a great evening of laughs, food, and a pitcher or two.

I just love our entire operation and most everyone involved. It’s family oriented with a splash of silly and a dash of daring. Together we all seem to make one merry and unique family season after season and year after year.

Commercial Dungeness Crab Photo Gallery is Up!

F/V Vis Dungeness Crab photos are up!! Check them out here. Mostly featured in the pictures is Bryan, Brett, Brandon, Steve…and one or two of George.

Thanks to the most awesome professional photographer of commercial fishing photos around, David Hills!

Here’s a small preview of what you’ll find when you view the gallery:

Favorite Job and a Night Away

Prompt:

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did you learn?


Oddly enough, I’m already doing both of the jobs I’d most want to have: Stay at Home Mom and Writer.

The only thing I’d add to this is that I’d do more writing. More paid writing, that is. It would be nice to have time to dedicate to additional professional projects, but that’s where my SAHM gig comes in and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The worst jobs I’ve had were in offices. I was always hired as the cheerful front desk person and while I enjoy people and love typing, I found that I couldn’t stand the positions after one week on the job.

My anxiety went into overdrive each day about 2 p.m. and I couldn’t wait to leave the office and breathe. I like office work…but I’ve since learned that I like it best in my own office!

(I can only pin the “I suffocate sitting within four walls under someone else’s thumb” on the heritage of fishermen and captains in my bloodline!)

******

The kids and I got to make a quick and spontaneous trip to visit The G and B&B (Brett & Bryan) this weekend. We had the best time, and the little ones and I were beyond thrilled to get in the car and get out of town!!

We shouted “Road Trip! Road Trip!” as soon as we turned onto the freeway, and we did not stop the car until we arrived in port and saw G waving at us.

We had only one night with The G and B&B, but every second was awesome.

Bowling, pizza, laughs, love all around…maybe I’ll make it to the end of the season after all.

Lay Off the Red Bull and Eat Your Veggies!

I hope everyone is having a relaxing or fun-filled Sunday. The sun is out today and I’m thrilled about that. Even if it is absolutely freezing and the wind is blowing, I’m just so glad the non-stop dreary rain has stopped for at least one day!

One of the traditions in our fishing family is that when our boat leaves for a fishing season, G (or Dad, when we were younger) steps outside the wheelhouse just before the boat steams out of sight. He blasts the foghorn, and those of us standing on the dock wave like crazy as they round the breakwater and cruise out of the harbor.

Well, early this morning, Eva ran into my bedroom.

“Mommy!” she said. “I heard a foghorn! I think Daddy is driving the boat past our house on his way home! Is Daddy coming home today?”

I regretted having to tell her that, sadly, Daddy was not coming home today and the horn must have been from the train or another boat. (I didn’t bother explaining that sounding the foghorn on the way home was not actually part of our tradition, lol.)

I’ve decided that wherever G ends up the next time he comes in from sea, wherever he unloads the crab and for however long he’s in port, the kids and I are going to see him. It’s become clear they need a big Daddy hug and I think he could use a couple of baby hugs.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how hard these guys work and for how many hours they are at it. They do not stop to sit down and eat meals and they do not quit work to sleep. They are up for 36 hours at a time, for days on end. When the weather is good and the crab (or salmon, halibut, blackcod, etc.) are there, they do not stop. They keep going, and going, and going.

How does someone force himself to stay up? And not just up, but working. Physically working. Fighting weather conditions. Thinking. Making decisions. Keeping the adrenalin going. Staying safe and preventing accidents and injury.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many healthy methods that make this possible, because it really isn’t a healthy situation at the end of the day. Fishermen have been known to rely on…

Red Bull. Which, importantly, is not recommended if you have high blood pressure or are working in physically strenuous conditions. Too much Red Bull could make you irritable, shaky, anxious, and totally over-the-top.

Chewing Tobacco. No need to say much here…

Cigarettes. Eeeks.

Coffee. Caffeine. (Of course, not consumed in a delicate glass cup and saucer with dainty spoon as shown here, but gulped down in extra-large steel or hard plastic mugs by the pot.)

No Doz. This stuff has been around forever.

Diet can also go out the window when guys are fishing hard and non-stop.

So here’s my plea. Lay off the Red Bull and the chew. Forget the bacon, fellas! Eat your fruits and your veggies. Take your vitamins. Lots of them. Drop the anchor and get three hours of peaceful sleep now and again. Please!

Try your best to  maintain a healthy lifestyle whether at sea or on shore. It’s not easy. We’re all tired, need energy, and have our habits. But we have to at least try.

Listen to your commercial fishing mommies and wives. We know best!