Sunday, June 1, 2008

"B" Season 2008

Today is a day off, the last day off before the 12 hours/day, 7 days a week grind of B season. We are starting up a few weeks early this year to ensure we get all of our quota; there is a very real chance my next day off will be in 5 months, 5 months spanning the 2008 pollock fishery, cod fishery, and king crab (brown and red) fisheries.

You might think I am spending this last day off moaning and groaning about the coming 5 month season but in reality I was lying in bed at 3 AM this morning excited at the prospect of a new season, new challenges, new growth. A fishing season, even a 5 month one, is a closed-ended event in time with a beginning and an end and I remember from last fall how satisfying it was to end the season and the excitement of that first day off of the break, that slack time when we only work 60 hours a week and take our vacations. Regular folks with Monday through Friday jobs will never know the utter joy of a sunny day spent hiking after working for 5 months. Folks with weekends tend to take them for granted, frittering them away. I know, I've frittered away a bunch in my lfe. Out here, during the season, you get off at 6, hit the galley for supper, home by 6:15 (no grocery shopping, no food prep, no dishes), and are changed into sweatpants and headed off for an evening of fun with the dog by 6:30. I think a lot of us squeeze a weekends worth of adventure into every evening - you have to in order to keep that balance between work and play.

I'm sure I'll work some short days in July when my sister is our here visiting to spend as much time with her as possible and I'm equally sure the end of the season will be here before I know it, in the blink of an eye, and that next day off will be stretched before me like all the time in the world, and I'll be lying in bed at 3 AM, again excited with possibilities . . . .

Note: I broke my "new pictures only" rule today - this is actually from last B season, taken of my friend Hymie looking out the window of the sorting line at the East Channel below. He was a source of endless inspiration to me, 60 years old this year and utterly tireless, strong as an ox, and the harder life got, the more he would sing. Welcome back to the island my friend!

3 comments:

Mom said...

I'd love to hear him sing. Anyone who sings while they work is inspiring and a joy to work with.

Lothian said...

Wow. I feel really bad dreading going to work for 8 hours tonight (of course I am sure it matters that you love your job). I don't know how you do it, but have fun! And take care of yourself -- no emergency doctor visits this season, okay?

AlaskaSteve said...

Deal, no emergency room visits . . . I'm going to work on getting healthy this summer . . .