Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crab Season Continues

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! 


Susan Stevenson said...

I am so happy that sunlight is coming back little by little. It's nice to be able to drive to my dance class at 5pm and still see a sliver of light on the horizon. Ahhhh... I have missed the long(er) days of spring, and can't wait until breakup. While I don't mind winter at all (or I wouldn't live here), I sure yearn for spring once February arrives.

Happy February to you. I can't believe January is already gone. It flew by.


Gorges Smythe said...

If you feel contentment, savor it. Few people get to that point in life. As for not working in your field of education, I've read that less than 50% DO.

Bren said...

Joy and smiles come to my heart at your contentment. Loves

Jennifer Stumpf said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely blog with us! What a beautiful place to live. It's always a pleasure to have the rare experience to read about someone who loves their work, mate, and their place on the map. All the best to you and yours!

Zack said...

Yep it sure has been quite a journey for you there dad. Glad you ended up where you wanted to be though. I'm happy for you. Wondering what will happen after you retire. You will probably be on an even wilder ride I bet.

Rick Fortin said...

As one of the 50% who did wind up working in the field of their education, I never fail to recognize it as a blessing although in some sense I suppose it has limited my exposure to learning...

What is the turn-around time on Netflix out there?

Alaska Steve said...

Hey Zack, after I retire I'm hoping to spend more time with my sons - get ready for it!

Rick, I think it's nice to stick with a chosen field - I just have never been able to decide what I wanted to be when I grow up I guess. Since they put a warehouse in Anchorage the Netflix turn around is pretty good - forget about streaming a movie over the internet though unless you have a day or two for the download! Quicker to get the DVD!