After a busy and productive pot cod season, the boats have switched over to opilio crab (marketed as "snow crab") and we have taken a few deliveries. It sounds like the opie fishing has been very productive as well, so except for the weather the 2011 fishing season has had a great start. Above, the F/V Arctic Mariner heads out to the grounds with a load of crab pots, taken from by the landfill a few days ago. You can see if I rush out right after work there is still a bit of sunshine kissing the tops of the mountains before dusk descends on the island.
2011 was a slow year to start for me, it unfolded like a flower that just fully bloomed in the last couple days. January started with my co-worker flying out for a funeral, and me trying to get caught up from being on vacation while still closing the month and generating reports by the 5th. On top of that I was sick, so it was halfway through January before I had a chance to take a breath and think about 2011. I didn't make any resolutions because I still have some really great ones I'm still working on. I didn't make any changes because it felt like things beyond my control were changing so much, that maybe I should stay the same. What I did do however, as January faded in the rear view mirror, was become supremely contented.
I paused and look back over the time since I moved out here, in June of 2007. While I had lived in Alaska since 1988, this place is special. I started blogging on A Sense of Place almost immediately after moving here; I had visited Goldfish out here before and I had an inking of how special it was going to be to live here. Looking back on how we started out here, all our worldly possessions shipped out here on one pallet (and another pallet for my precious Millipede game), no vehicle (and we entertained the idea of not needing a vehicle), not married yet but definitely moving rapidly in that direction (and we did, just a little more than 9 months after moving here). We were living in a company apartment that we loved, right on the East Channel.
Out lives have gotten much more complicated since those carefree early days - we have vehicles, we bought a house, I re-certified as an EMT and stated running with the ambulance/fire service out here, we constantly work at keeping in touch with our families spread all over. Owning a house comes with its own set of worries, and certainly its own set of rewards. You certainly never have to wonder what to do with your spare time after signing on that dotted line!
We have a wonderful circle of friends out here, and although we grouse about the hours, we have good jobs for a good company doing things we enjoy. After working on the decks of boats and on the engines of boats and in processing plants in many capacities, off and on through out life, it seems a natural progression to be doing what I'm doing. So bizarre that after going to five different colleges pursuing a broad range of degrees - chemical engineering, bio-chemical engineering, teaching, industrial instrumentation, petroleum science, and finally anthropology - that nothing that I have learned actually applies to my work, but I'll probably finish my working career right here in Unalaska, hopefully at the same workplace.
Okay, enough rambling for now, I'm off to watch a movie with Goldfish - we're working through the Oscar nominations via Netflix. Cheers!