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.
Written by Jen Finn
March 5-May 4, 2008 — Last year, after the computer that ran the Discovery's navigational software broke down for the last time, Mike vowed he would buy a real plotter; one with no hard drive, and just a few buttons to make the plotter do its limited number of features it was able to do. Everybody was happy with that plan.
After six years with the old computer, we were done with all the nonsense. It would always crap out and leave us wondering where we were. Of course, Roald always had his waypoints entered into the antique GPS that has never failed him, and we haven't forgotten how to use paper charts, so we were only inconvenienced buy its shortcomings.
But if you have a device that is supposed to show your location, one would assume it would be able to do the job, and if it couldn't it would be replaced with something that can do the job, right?
Wrong. Mike replaced it, but with another computer. For the person who gives a hoot, a computer is about the coolest piece of navigational equipment available. The thing is, nobody on this boat gives a hoot. We just want to turn it on and have it work. We are all afraid to touch this thing because the screen might switch to something we didn't ask for, requiring a small act of congress just to it back to where we had it.
All we want is a plotter that we can turn on, figure out how to work, and not have any problems. The new computer doesn't measure up in any of the three categories.
One time while fishing it freaked out and went into some funky repair mode. Since I am the designated computer technician, Roald called me up to fix it, and after feeding it a couple repair disks, which brought no repair, I grabbed the satellite phone and called the shop that sold us the thing. The shop didn't know how to fix it, so they gave us the number of Paris, the guy who built the monster.
It turns out it was a simple little issue — but since we didn't now what we were doing, it was a big problem to us. Besides, who wants to drop what they are doing and mess around with a computer for an hour?
I had just finished cooking dinner, but I never had chance to clean up before I was called to computer duty, so poor George had a big mess to clean up on his dish day (boo-hoo). We were lucky we even got it going because I called just before closing time on a weekend; another 20 minutes and we would have had to finish the trip without the plotter. The good news is now we have Paris' home number and can get a hold of him any time.
TO BE CONTINUED...
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.
First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.
Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.Read more...
Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.
Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.Read more...