Matt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.
April 13-17, 2008 — We delivered at RBS in Seward on Sunday, April 13. Delivering in Seward is a cakewalk; the plant provides off-loaders and there is seldom a hitch in anything. We were pretty much done by noon.
While we were being off-loaded, George, Mike and Roald got wind of the weather forecast, which called for nice weather on Monday, fai r weather on Tuesday, and a big mess of a storm blowing through on Wednesday and Thursday. With this knowledge, George suggested we turn around real quick, head right back out, fish a couple of days dressing fish (dressed fish can stay aboard the boat longer than round fish), drift through the storm days, then resume fishing after the storm subsides.
I've made stupid suggestions before, so I can't be too critical here, but when I imagined us willingly going out into a shit-eatin' storm with the intention of rolling around for a couple days, I thought George had slipped a disk in his brain. Maybe it was George's abrupt introduction to his idea, but it died almost immediately, with little to no discussion. After that there was never mention about heading out again until after the storm had subsided.
The hard part about waiting through this weather was that the rest of Sunday and all of Monday were beautiful; and the forecast outside was for 10 to 15 knots variable. So we spent Sunday and Monday being teased by the beautiful weather, knowing we didn't have time to turn around and get back out before the weather hit.
The gratitude came on Wednesday. We were grateful because it was downright shitty in Seward, and the outside weather reports were of 45 knots with heavy freezing spray. In anticipation of clearer skies on the horizon, we chopped bait in the morning as the freezing wind whipped around the deck, blowing the cardboard bait boxes and plastic liners all around.
After we were done chopping bait we took refuge in the somewhat less exposed bait house. We looked out as driving gusts shrieked through the boat harbor, shaking the bait house and moaning through boats' rigging. We watched the marina staff running about, snugging up loose lines on boats that the wind had send rocking wildly.
They were powerful gusts — 60 knots at least. And all the while it was COLD. Instead of one guy bringing coffee out to the others, everyone opted to stand in the galley and relax as our limbs warmed up by the stove. Since I don't drink coffee, I opted to make a sandwich that helped fuel my skinny body against the cold.
We were baiting with intent to head out on Thursday for the prediction of nice weather starting on Friday. We finished baiting on Thursday morning and headed out before noon. In fact, the whole fleet headed out that morning, as everyone was waiting for the same storm to pass.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.Read more...