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.

December 27, 2005 — I was up bright and early to make sure the guys at LaConner Maritime knew I was looking for a haul-out on the morning of December 27. It didn't take long, and the Satisfaction was in the slings and ready to be pressure-washed. But her hull was so clean, the guy suggested I not pressure wash it, as he would feel guilty charging me.

As they were blocking up my boat in its parking spot I perused the yard and saw my old bowpicker, the Nightmare. I'd say she was lookin' good, but she wasn't. In fact, I'd have to say she looked just like she did when I had her, except she now had a crab block mounted on a davit up in the bow deck, and there was one other major improvement: There was a front deck. I unloaded her without a front deck when I had too much stuff to do, and I didn't want to mess with such a project.

Getting to the point where I was all squared up with the yard and my boat was on blocks took quite a while, and just as I was about to dive in and get the Satisfaction ready to wait patiently for me all winter, Maureen and the kids showed up. Maureen could tell I was antsy to get rolling, so she told me to just get my business taken care of, and we'd be off when it was done.

I worked full speed. I gave the bottom a quick scrub in lieu of the $110 pressure washing I didn't need. I gathered any lines and buoys so they wouldn't deteriorate in the sun, and threw them in the hatch. I sought out and discarded any food that was in the cabin, so no rat would think my boat was his grocery store. I cleaned up as best I could, but it was really just a garbage hunt, so I never really cleaned anything. I tied a bucket over the stack, and locked her up tight. I was done, except for forgetting this and that, and running up and down on the boat five times before I was REALLY done.

The one job I didn't get to was wiping all the oil out of the bilge. I drained it, but doing a good job of wiping it out would have taken over an hour, and I knew I didn't have that, since Maureen was waiting patiently, but that mode doesn't last forever. Because I never wiped out the oil in the bilge, the yard guy asked me to leave the plug in, so I still had to worry about the engine compartment filling up with water! I tarped off the hatch to keep the water out, and called it good enough.

The deed was done. The abbreviated Puget Sound–style put-the-boat-away procedure was completed. Far from ship shape, but all essential tasks were completed. She may be put away like a hurricane blew through, but nobody could say she was put away wet.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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