National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt 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.

October 7-10, 2007 — I had a helluva communication gap with the people at Shilshole Marina when I pulled in at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 7. I told them I was a gillnetter and I was going to do a little work on my boat. Even after they put me in the middle of a bunch of live-aboard yachts I told them I really didn't belong there and asked if they could move me to a less "residential" location. But no, that was all they had for me. Besides, there's live-aboards speckled throughout the marina, they said.

And so it was; I went to work. I got back to my boat after my business in Tacoma around 4 p.m. on Monday, October 8. I had a varied list of things to do that required me to be in Seattle because of parts accessibility. I dove right into the project of changing my ready-to-burst anchor lines, and also an old line on my power stern roller. Out of respect for my live-aboard neighbors, I completed most of my clanking and banging by 10 p.m., but I still had a long way to go before I was done.

I worked as quietly as I could on inside-the-cabin projects. I rewired my electric winch with a larger breaker; I installed a fish cleaning light on the back deck alongside my drum; I installed cleats onto which I could secure my side-stays to the rigging; I did a million little projects inside the cabin that I never had the time or enthusiasm to complete. In fact I was so enthused I worked until 3 a.m., and prepared a long list of things I needed to complete a whole new set of projects I lined up for the next day.

I saw none of my neighbors as I slipped off the dock on the morning of Tuesday, October 9, to get my list of needed parts and supplies. I tooled around Seattle all day, and didn't get back to my boat until 3 p.m., at which time I went right to work on my noisy projects. I reassembled the pieces of my shattered flying bridge windbreak, and cut them out with the jigsaw I always carry on my boat for such emergency projects.

As I was screwing them into place on my flying bridge, a dock guy came down and told me somebody reported I was sawing, and that is not allowed. I suggested to him that they could move me to a place where sawing wouldn't be so offensive to the people living on their boats, and he told me that sawing wasn't allowed anywhere in the marina, but he would still look into moving me down to the fishing boat float.

The fishing boat float? Why didn't they put me there in the first place? I told him the fishing boat float would be a great place for me, but I didn't want to move until I had my anchor winch back together because I had a bunch of parts and pieces all spread out on the bow. He came and checked on me a couple of times — I guess to make sure I wasn't doing any more sawing — before my winch was back together by the late hour of 10 p.m.

I moved the boat, but I still had more to do before I called it quits. In more accepting surroundings, I worked until 2 a.m. I don't know what got into me. The incredible thing about it is that I was up again at 4 a.m. to drive up to Anacortes to catch the 6 a.m. ferry back to Friday Harbor!

It may seem like a ridiculous schedule, but it is the only way I can fit a whole bunch of work into a short period of time.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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