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.

Longlining 2006 — Music has always been a difficult luxury to obtain on the Discovery. We have tried many different set-ups over the years, but none has proven to last. The boom-box in the galley wired to the back deck seemed to work the best, but after it got trashed, it never got replaced; today its old bracket holds the Brita water filter by the galley table. Our MO is to have an old beater boom-box and keep it out on deck.

One year I had it out on deck so Brett and I could hear it while we were hauling blackcod gear, and the weather breezed up and sent a big wave crashing into the side of the boat, knocking the radio off the top shelf of the shelter-deck rack, and slamming it down on the deck so hard it spit out George's Santana CD, breaking it in half on impact.

This year the quest for the optimum music listening system continued with the Sirius Satellite Network. That's right, the Discovery was hooked up to the sky! Not only do we now have a satellite phone on the boat, but we have satellite radio! We are becoming so high tech, it's scary.

Brett and I bought speakers in Bellingham on the day we left, and Mike installed them, one on the back deck and one in the bait house. All through the Sitka trips we were happily listening to tunes.

Unfortunately for me, one of the favorite channels was country. All country, and with no commercials. During the country-music sessions I would think of more pleasant things, like getting my teeth drilled by the dentist without Novocain, or being attacked by a swarm of killer bees.

Things improved when Brett installed the new speakers in the wheelhouse. I'm not sure what he did, but he made it so the audible volume in the wheelhouse caused the deck speakers to be so quiet we couldn't hear it if we put our ear right next to the speaker. It took the guys about five days to figure out how to work the Front-Back FADE control on the wheelhouse stereo. It was a pleasant five days, and then it was back to country.

During our stint in the Gulf of Alaska, the Sirius Satellite Network didn't work for us. That was good in eliminating the no-commercial country barrage, but it didn't keep the Norwegian Cowboy from plugging it full of his country favorites. It was almost worse because the CD player was set on auto-repeat, so the same old country junk just repeated itself. It was back to the dentist for me.

I did manage to insert an assortment of music, and when we returned to the Sirius coverage area I introduced them to some channels offering them a variety of options, so there is hope.

The one thing for which I am very grateful is that nobody had an interest in talk radio, which can totally dampen one's mood. At least with country I can tune it out — like a white noise; you know, static. But talk radio can really drive a person bananas. Plus, I like to be totally out of touch with what is going on in the world when I am up fishing. It makes life much less stressful when you don't know what there is to stress out about.

So now the Discovery is wired for sound, and we can all rock out, or pretend we're at the dentist!


Inside the Industry

The Center for Coastal Studies recently announced that Owen Nichols, Director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Fisheries Research Program, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the John Annala Fishery Leadership Award by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

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Cummins  announced the opening of a new Alaska service location on Kodiak Island last week that will serve as a service and support location for commercial marine applications.

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