Saturday, August 15, 2009
My buddy shane from hawaii is now currently working on a fishing boat in alaska, besides from being a real man now, he actually went and did all the crap talk we did when we was young back in hawaii. when we would get drunk and talk shit about hemmingway among other stupid adolescent things. Like falling for the wrong girls, etc.
He is now beyond talk, and a real man now.
Romanticism aside, its fucking back breaking tough work that rewards you with astronomical figures on your paycheck at the end of the long bi-weekly workload. I can only imagine what it feels like to be him right now.
He is my idol.
Here are some stories from his current work at sea:
second time around
first it was long lining for halibut, then it was a week in the fish cannery, and now it's seining for salmon. we spent a week out at duck bay pulling in loads of salmon ranging from 1000-20000 lbs. going through various phases of ire, fatigue, hunger, and near insanity. the last half of the fishing week was spent in a fog, fishing blindly amid choppy waters and surprisingly warm weather. the first half of the week was great. we started off hauling in 8000, then 12000, then 23000 lbs a day.
my french buddy, vince got me on board this little 38 foot seiner, i in turn got my bostonian thug friend keith a job. we spent most of last month fixing up the beat up old thing. norma kay she is called. everything a bit shabby. the galley untidy with tools, and stationary covering most of the counter space, the moving space limited due to the boats small size, and the fact that there were five people on board. most of the deck was covered with the giant quarter mile x 30 ft. seining net, so that further obstructed our feet shuffling space. pair that with the bad food (sandwiches and cookies, mostly), the short rest periods (4-5 hours a night), and the hard work, and you could just imagine how tense it could get.
my new captain, rob, would set on the flying bridge with his fishing cap pulled over his eyes, wet cigarette hanging from his lips, scoping out fishing spots. boston, france, and the captains step son davis would wait around til a spot was found. then france would hop into the skiff, i would release the skiff line, and we'd watch as the net would unravel, yelling to the captain to slow down when the net was fully reeled out. boston and i would then take a huge aluminum plunger and thrust it into the water to scare the fish away from the nets open end, with france doing the same on his end. the vessel and the skiff would slowly converge, and then we'd close the net, haul it in on the giant boom atop deck, and boston and i would then stack the huge net back on board. that was a blast. cold ocean water dripping over us, jelly fish being torn up and flown into our faces, the captain yelling orders that were lost over the loud were of the winch, and engine.
imagine then, every muscle crunching, contracting, and pulling to ensure the big bastard beast of a web was squared away correctly. now imagine what little space you have to move around being over taken by the beast. the only option is to now stand on top of the stack and pull in the net and let it droop down the back. the water is choppy, the boat is listing heavily port to starboard side, the web coming down heavy, the footing precarious, and finally a heavy tilt port side and you fall. you grab onto the net as it's slowly being brought down, and you're being let into the cold ocean water. your left boot filling with water, then the right, and then a hand grips the back of your rain jacket, and you manage to pull yourself back on deck. and that's just half the day.
then it's off to the tendering boat to put up with a bunch of pompous assholes living in a cushy apartment in the sea. their only job is to keep the fish seperated, and the deck clean. aside from that they like to throw their prissy two cents in on how to get the fish out of the hold. i know how to shovel the fucking things. i know where to face the fucking water hose, and the fish, and the giant suction pump that sucks up the fish, and blah blah fucking blah. no fun to put up with after a hard day of fishing.
well. that fishing trip is done. the money will be coming in in a week, and i'll be working towards my next gig. i feel like this last one really beat the lazy asshole out of me, and i'm grateful for it.
so much more, mon ami, but that is for later. there is sea legs, and vertigo, the fish cannery, and bipolar broads. fillipinos, and crack pot dope heads singing r&b, but my dear...later
now, back to land, back to my music, and my next stretch of senseless american adventure. my fucking god i love life.