The old gal was talking in her sleep again. She’d groan like a tired black lab whenever the weather came up from the stern quarter. She kept time with the drop of the bow and the yaw of the gimballed compass illuminated by a faint red glow. It was the only thing I could see from the helm, but I just stared straight ahead. I didn’t have to look down. I knew right where we were and right where we were going… and so did she. It was a groan of comfort and good fit with no sharp edges. We were lounging in “the hammock,” lollygagging along at eight knots in the trough of a long slow swell that built up out of the northwest in the late summer. Back in March, running north for herring, it was all sharp and edgy and uncertain. But now, we were going home.

John van Amerongen is the former editor of Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, a longtime Fisherpoet, and author of “Catching a Deckload of Dreams,” the story of Trident Seafoods

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