As you have probably heard, winter has come to the island in a big way this past week and I think it is here to stay for awhile. Wave after wave of winter has flowed across the island; at my place halfway up the valley you can be sitting in sunshine,watching a wall of darkness moving up the valley, the wind picking up and tearing the powder from the snowy peaks as it advances, stray snowflakes announcing the arrival of the next wave, building to a crescendo of near white-out conditions and fading back to sunlight, the next wave already visible behind Ballyhoo, the metronome of winter continuing for days, alternating bands of dark and light - zebra weather . . . . .
I've been on call this week so I haven't strayed too far from home and work, work and home, putting off those chores requiring crawling under the house or getting covered in sawdust for just a bit longer, semi-enjoying the looming deadline of the approaching vacation and the enormous list of items to be completed before departing the island, knowing I'll get it all done in a manic multi-day burst . . . . ahhhh, stress, the true opiate of the masses . . . .
King crab season is just ending out here; Goldfish just came back from work, another crab delivery paperwork completed and just a small handful of deliveries left. It looks like things might wind up j u s t in time for us to step on a plane - I'm pretty dispensable but they can't accept a crab delivery without the gals that do the fish tickets, print out the checks and record the landings to the authorities, all three of whom are leaving at more or less the same time. We bought our plane tickets back in March, trying to calculate when crab season would be over, looking at historical averages and trying to get our vacation time used up before the end of the year . . . all that planning and now it comes down to a matter of hours for it all to work out.
I turned down an on-camera appearance with Deadliest Catch yesterday for a couple of really good reasons but felt terrible for poor Ben who was under the gun to set up the scene at the Trident dock to coincide with the Northwestern making a delivery. I could have filled the role he was looking for - it has to do with a strange fish coming up in one of the Northwestern's pots, and the crew thinking it was a new species. I promised him I would find him somebody else within 15 minutes that had the expertise he was looking for but he forlornly headed to dock, muttering about maybe having to re-write the scene at the last minute and lamenting that no one on this island wants to deal with Deadliest Catch.
Ben, I'm sorry . . . I really did locate someone for you as promised but you left too soon. You have to understand that for a seafood processing company, there is really no "up side" to talking to you guys - most have a standing policy expressly prohibiting it. I've worked on the water, I have a tremendous respect for what all our fishermen do, and any fishing vessel, DC or otherwise, gets my full attention in solving their problem when they come see us. But look at it from our perspective, DC guys are just guys, you can't throw a rock out here without hitting a boat crewman or captain, and if we wanted to be on TV we probably wouldn't be living year round on a rock in the Bering Sea, right?