Archive for Dungeness Crab Season – Page 3

“Eva Las Vegas”

It was my lifelong goal to never go to Las Vegas. (Am I even spelling Las Vegas correctly?) I’ve  just never had any interest in going to Sin City. Hey, don’t get me wrong; I’m no angel. Everyone knows that! I like to have a drink and a good time as much as–and usually more than–anyone else.

But my “party” stops at 7 p.m. and I love being in bed reading by 9:30 p.m. at the latest. I don’t gamble. I don’t go to night clubs. I have panic attacks and quick sensory overload. I’ve never seen “The Hangover.” I don’t like crowds or piped-in air. “The Strip” sounds kind of eerie. And did I mention I hate airplanes?

So you can imagine how excited I am to be boarding a plane to Vegas this week. YIKES! We are going because George’s cousin, a national forensic expert, is speaking at a conference and asked all the cousins to fly in for a cousins’ reunion.

I’m totally down with the reunion and I’m excited to see everyone! G has the most awesome cousins around. They are fun, hip, real, friendly, accepting, smart, and not at all judgmental. I can’t wait to go bowling, sit by the pool, order frozen cocktails, and have a wonderful time with everyone.

And yes, we are bringing the kids; we are all staying at a hotel rated one of the most kid-friendly in Vegas. I could not survive four nights without my little ones. I would miss them terribly and not have a good time without them. Plus, I figure I will only be able to handle about as much “Vegas” as the children so we should do just fine together.

George, on the other hand, has free reign to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants!  He is coming off a great Dungeness crab season and will only have a few weeks until he goes to Alaska for the blackcod and halibut season, so I want him to have a great time while he can. Like me, he’s never been to Vegas. He is excited to try his luck at the casinos and stay up late without obligation or worry. I’m happy that he will have this chance to hang out with his family and experience Las Vegas the way he’d like to. (Well, not exactly the way he’d like to, lol!)

In fact, it was George who (loudly) started singing “Eva Las Vegas” to the tune of “Viva Las Vegas” throughout the house the last time he was home!

Maybe it will be okay. Two high school friends will coincidentally be in Vegas at the same time and we hope to meet up at some point. My little family will all be together, which isn’t that common. We’ll get to see most of G’s cousins, plus one of his sisters and her husband who live across the country from us. The kids can’t wait to ride the airplane. And with any luck, the weather will be good, the pool warm, and the frozen cocktails delicious. :)

Thanks for the Memories, Dungeness Crab Season 2010-11!

Portrait of a Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)...

Thanks for a great season, Dungies!

One of the most fun things I discovered recently was how to create a cool and custom banner for your Facebook page. At you can make a banner using your own photos, or their quotes, or your own quotes, their colors, your colors…whatever you want. You can also create a custom background. How awesome is that?? I’ve had a ton of fun playing around with various designs. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about or see this long ago!

I know it’s been over a week since I posted a new blog entry, and that is a direct violation of the WordPress “post a week” challenge I undertook at the beginning of the year. I figure I’m allowed one or two misses. Among researching kindergartens, arranging care for two big and special-needs dogs during our forthcoming vacations, shuttling little ones to and from activities, G wrapping up the Dungeness crab season, and me attending and teaching Jazzercise classes and taking boot camp several times per week, I’ve been exhausted!

G came home to visit during last week’s coastal storm. When G is home, our household moves at a much quicker (or as G might say, more “efficient”) pace. It’s the captain in him. Alone, the kids and I do try to take things as easy as possible because we are preserving stamina and endurance for the long days and nights…or weeks…or months.. when Dad isn’t around. But when G gets home, watch out! Hustle!

When G left to go back to Westport this past weekend, I declared it jammies-and-sweats-we-aren’t-going-anywhere-Saturday for the children and me.

We enjoyed a nice, quiet, obligation-free day. We didn’t leave the house one time but stayed home dressed in comfort, lounging on couches and overstuffed chairs and eating popcorn for lunch. It was just what we needed!

George and the guys have had a tremendous crab season. I’m so proud of and happy for them. And I believe they are starting to wrap it up now and will soon get ready for the Alaska halibut and black cod season. The first inkling I had that the crab season was ending was our household Costco list; bleach was listed in G’s handwriting. I knew what that meant! Time for all the buoys and 500 pots to come back up from the deep to be cleaned, stacked, and put away. Then, G will have about four weeks at home with us before heading north for the next several months.

Here are a couple of Plinky writing prompts I thought would be fun to answer.

1.  Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunset. I can’t stand getting up early. I don’t like it at all. I do love the relaxation that accompanies day’s end, though. I feel calm and at ease, tucked inside my house with my family. I’ve felt lucky to live by the water for most of the last ten years and I love watching the sunsets over the bay. A glass of wine, a sunset, a bath for the kids, knowing we did the day together and can now cuddle and relax is my favorite.

2.  Do You Feel Younger or Older Than You Really Are?

I feel younger than I am. G would also add that I act younger than I really am. I can’t lie. It’s true. :-)

3.  If You Were a Professor, What Subject Would You Teach?

I would teach English literature or creative writing. When both kids are in elementary school I fully intend on getting my Master’s in creative writing. Even if I am the oldest lady in the program!

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:

Jen’s Friday Favorites

Favorites of the Week:

1. That it’s finally March. I am so relieved that we are only about three weeks until spring. We made it through the dreary fall and winter months, and now we can move on. The fall and winter months never used to bother me back in the day when all I’d do is curl up with a book and read the seasons away. However…the non-stop packing up of children and hauling groceries and dealing with muddy dogs in the rain, wind, and muck for months on end is not my favorite.

2. The approaching end of the crab season. It’s been an incredible season all the way around and we’re thrilled and grateful for that, but I’ll be glad when it’s over. Then the kids and I will get George mostly to ourselves for an entire month before he goes up to Alaska for the halibut and black cod season.

3.  Jazzercise and Boot Camp. LOVING the newly released Jazzercise routines! Also loving the boot camp one of our instructors put together. It’s an eight-week camp and we just wrapped up week five. I love the combination of the two workouts. In fact, this week I ended up working out eight times in five days; five days of Jazzercise, three of those days including boot camp immediately following Jazzercise.

4. The Magicsuit from Victoria’s Secret. Why all the Jazzercise and boot camp? We’ve got our first full-fledged all-out family vacation in almost four years coming up in April. We’re going to Hawaii for two full weeks and I’ve been concerned about suits. My sister, Cassandra, sent me the link to the Magicsuit. It does everything I wanted and needed; shows off the good, hides the bad. Worth every penny! See picture and link below.

5. The Shorebreak Dress from Athleta. Similar to the Magicsuit in that it is multi-purpose and shows off the good while camouflaging the not-so-good. Picture and link also included below!

6.  George coming home for a visit this past week. G is always my “favorite”. He and his crew are TOUGH. And I mean tough. They fish where nobody else goes. They are super strong mentally and physically, and I don’t think you could find many to match them for tenacity anywhere. Congrats to G on an unbelievable season at sea, and a thank you for being so helpful, funny, and loving when he visits home! Love you, man!


The Magicsuit from Victoria's Secret really is magic!

Swim and shop in one dress from Athleta!

Happy Valentine’s Day…I Guess!

Our busy weekend began with G’s surprise announcement that he was coming home so he could attend my sister’s 40th birthday surprise party. We were so excited!

While he was here, we got a heart-shaped Papa Murphy’s pizza and helped Eva make Valentine cards for her preschool classmates. Even though G kept saying he had to leave “first thing Monday morning”, I didn’t believe him. After all, the weather where he’s fishing is terrible, and the crew aren’t even in port!

“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “There are things on the boat that have to be fixed before we can go fishing again. I have to go fix them.”

Early this morning, G presented me with gifts from two of my favorite stores. I started to open one, but he snatched it back.

“Wait! I need to get the price tag!” he said.

“Do you have anything for me?” he asked next.

“Uh…no.” I said.

I did have things, but they weren’t ready yet! I didn’t know he was coming home this weekend!

I asked G if he really had to leave. What difference would one more day make? After all, if he stayed, I could get his Valentine’s gifts in order.

No matter. At 8:00 a.m., G fired up the flatbed. He gave one last look toward the house to see if we were standing in the windows, then blew us a kiss and drove away.

Next, I did what any other self-respecting commercial fisherman’s wife would do.

I called G. I called again. I texted. I reminded G that the weather was crappy. I sent an e-mail. I reported that the gifts he’d given me for Valentine’s Day did not fit right, and unfortunately, needed to be exchanged.

I held out hope that he hadn’t actually left, and was just busy running errands in town, until it was obviously time for me to get the household ready for the evening without him.

It’s okay, though. G did come home and we had a great time yesterday, and there are good times ahead. One silly day only carries as much weight as you give it.

Happy Valentines Day… WHATEVER! :-)

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!

Looking for One Teddy Bear and One Daddy

Finally, a day without rain. The kids and I went for a long, invigorating walk up and down hills all afternoon in the fresh air with my sister and baby niece. I took Eva and Vincent for ice cream following and it almost felt like spring!

In case anyone is wondering how G’s crab season is going and why I haven’t posted any updates or pictures, it’s because I’m operating under a temporary gag order issued by the captain himself! Ha ha!

I only talk to G about once a week and not for very long because they are working 24/7. The first month of the crab season is the most critical, so G and the guys are incredibly focused down and I *try* not to bother them.

Vincent woke me up at 3:00 a.m. recently. I heard him rustling around and pacing the hallways, crying.

I sprung out of bed.

“What’s wrong, honey?” I asked as I reached for my little boy.

“I’m looking for my teddy bear and my daddy,” he cried.

I scooped up my little guy. And while I quickly located his bear, there wasn’t anything I could do about his dad except to say Daddy loved him very much.

So, I cuddled with Vincent as he cried himself back to sleep, repeating “I miss my dad,” over and over.

This is actually the first time either of my children has cried over G being gone. Of course we always miss George terribly, but we usually keep on keepin’ on with hope and smiles. Vincent took me by surprise!

Jen’s Friday Favorites


It’s a new feature here on Highliners and Homecomings. Actually, it’s an old feature with a new twist. A couple of years ago I borrowed something my friend Kim does on her blog, which is create a list of my “Favorites of the Week.” I try to come up with five or so things, people, or places that struck a chord with me that week and include them in the list.

I thought it would be fun to give the Favorites of the Week a new spin by giving it an official logo and creating the list each Friday. I searched around last night looking for images and I found this cute Snoopy one, which I personalized a bit. I love it!

Anyway, here’s my official Favorites of the Week:

  • My Jazzertogs order that showed up. I love everything in it and got it all on sale. Now, if only my kids and I would regain good health so I can sport my new gear at Jazzercise next week.
  • The AdvoCare order that arrived. I’m so excited. I just learned about AdvoCare from my friends Krissy and Sara last week and was so optimistic about it that I’m now a Distributor. More info and a link to my Distributor page later.
  • The professional commercial fishing photographer, David Hills, arriving in Westport to board our f/v Vis to take photographs of the Dungeness crab season. His work is awesome; just check out the link to his longlining photographs in the sidebar.
  • Sending G and the crew off. It’s certainly not my favorite thing to see G go, but the send-off was cheerful and upbeat. It is so important for fishing kids to see their mom and dad (and everyone else) staying positive and optimistic in light of departures. We waved and waved, G blasted the foghorn (a tradition started by my dad) and then we got into the car and went directly to Jazzercise to play.
  • The unexpected check I found while sorting out presents and cards from Christmas 2009. I was shocked! I also found a couple of gift cards from Eva’s birthday a couple of years ago. I’m crossing my fingers the check is still good, lol.

Have a great weekend!



And They’re Off!

On our way down the ramp to the dock.

Brandon, Bryan, G, and Brett with future crew members Eva and Vincent.

A beautiful and calm day for a boat ride.

Straight to Jazzercise to play with friends and keep the tears at bay.

Good Luck to My Very Favorite Commercial Fishermen in the 2011 Dungeness Crab Season!!

We Love You All Very Much!

Bryan wanted to know why I was never in the pictures and made me get in this one. Five of my favorite peeps right here!

The Last Night for a While

Well, the guys have worked all week finishing up a lot of projects in addition to loading pots onto the boat for the 2011 Dungeness crab season. I’m trying to not feel sad/bad. G and the crew are excited to go while I am not looking forward to the departure in the least! G is myrock and the glue that holds us all together. He’s got a quick wit, makes the most hilarious faces, and can fix and do anything. Plus, he’s a wonderful and loving father. I’m trying to focus on all the good things going on and looking ahead to the spring when we will take our first real vacation in several years.

I’ve got my family, my Jazzercise friends, the preschool crowd, the gymnastics and ballet groups, and my other friends to help keep us moving forward. I appreciate all of these people so much; they are my support and laughs much of the time, and especially when G is gone. Tonight will be hard and tomorrow will be worse, but I’ll be back to my normal self by Monday, forging ahead with renewed energy and motivation.

I’m posting two pictures of Brett and the boat taken yesterday with all the Dungeness crab pots on board.

The last picture is of the boat crane that was lifted off the Vis for some reason this past fall. I can’t remember why G had it lifted, but I know the crane well from my own time seining on our boat in SE Alaska (with my dad and sisters) and thought it was rather funny and unusual to see it on the flatbed trailer.

Oh, and how could I forget. One thing I’m looking forward to after G leaves is beginning the 24-Day Challenge through AdvoCare that my friend Sara turned me on to. I had not heard of AdvoCare before, but I do love my vitamins, supplements, and working out, so it sounded like a fun thing to try.

Their national spokesperson is DrewBrees, the New Orleans QB who was the MVP of the NFL World Championship game. I’m obviously not an élite athlete (or even a fan of football) but fortunately, the product line is for everyone. Be sure that I’ll let you all know how it goes, lol.

Will be back tomorrow with Departure Day pictures. Have a great night.