George is getting ready to take off to Alaska tomorrow. He has spent over twenty years in Alaska during the halibut and blackcod longline season, catching quota. For the last thirteen years, he’s spent it on our family boat catching our own quota. We recently reduced the size of our quota, however, so instead of spending a few months in Alaska this time, he will likely be gone just a few weeks.
You all know how much I enjoy receiving comments through this site. Most recently, I received an e-mail from a darling gal named Melody. Here is part of what she wrote:
I actually came across your site while on a Google hunt – I am new to being a girlfriend of a commercial fisherman. I would very much like to send him a care package but quickly realized that I have no idea of the wants/needs of a fisherman at sea!
If you could provide me a brief list or ANY ideas, it would be MUCH appreciated!
Thank you in advance
I was so impressed with Melody; not only was she NOT complaining about dating a fisherman who would soon be leaving, she wanted to send him off with something special! I used to do the same when G and I were first dating. So, I immediately went into my blog archives to find the list of commercial fishermen-gifts a few of us compiled years ago.
Here is the revised list:
Care Package and Gift Ideas For Your Commercial Fisherman
- A package of his favorite treats to take on the boat. Candy, cookies, peanuts, crackers, chips, etc.
- A special “boat cup” (Not glass, boat-safe, can be bought at fisheries supplies or sporting goods stores).
- New set of boat dishes; the kind you buy at marine supply stores made of hard plastic with non-skid rubber on the bottoms.
- New galley towels. They get dirty and ruined so fast, it’s nice to have something fresh and clean!
- A small photo of yourself, the children, or your pets in a frame.
- Create a photo book of your favorite pictures together at Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Costco. They are easy and fun to make, and you can add quotes and messages on every page if you want. He can take the book with him on the boat.
- A photo calendar. These can also be created at Shutterfly. I create one every year and send it with G to look through in the wheelhouse throughout his months away.
- A book. A light read is usually better (skip the self-help or how to improve your relationship, ha ha!).
- Have kids? Have them draw pictures that you can bind together (or let a copy shop bind) into a book.
- Warm hat.
- Gift card to a fisheries supply store.
- New rubber gloves.
- A small portable DVD player and a couple of DVDs to go with it.
- iTunes gift card.
- Noise-cancelling headphones.
- Dinner gift certificate to use together when he returns home.
- Massage gift card.
- A warm, snuggly new boat blanket or sleeping bag.
- Fresh new boat pillow and pillow case.
- Nice, fluffy boat shower towel.
- Long underwear made especially for sub-zero temperatures.
- An e-reader; Kindle, Nook, iPad, whichever you like. I got George an inexpensive Kindle for his birthday, not sure if he would be into digital reading or not. As it turns out, he loves it! He reads his Kindle all the time whether at home or on the boat.
- Visit the shopping sites Personal Creations or Lillian Vernon online and create personalized gifts.
- At Personal Creations you can make a “World’s Greatest Longliner” or “World’s Greatest Crabber” (you get the idea) t-shirt. Another fishing wife and I surprised each other last year when we both made the same exact shirts for our husbands and then posted pictures of the shirts on Facebook!
- Engraved and personalized beer mugs, pitchers, or shot glasses.
- Electric blanket for crab season.
- Head lamp for bunk reading.
- Pillows, blankets, plates, etc., created with pictures of you, your children, or pets. He’s going to use these items anyway; why not personalize them for him?
- Wool socks.
- Talking picture frame. He will love a frame that features a recording of you or his children speaking. He can take it with him to sea and listen to it over and over again.
- Cards, envelopes, and stamps. Pre-addressed to you! All he has to do is write and mail.
Melody, I hope this gives you some ideas or prompts other good ideas! Thank you so much for writing. It made me recall the days when I was a fishing girlfriend and would send G off with fun stuff. Time goes fast; enjoy these sweet early days together.