Alaska Stories

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You

The season is over and I’m home now… or what passes for home when what you have left of physical possessions is in boxes under a carport at your parents’ place, next to the half-finished shell of what will eventually be your tiny house.  I’m overwhelmed with an exhaustion borne of 71 days of work… Continue reading Find What You Love and Let It Kill You

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Alaska Stories

Bristol Bay pre-season, in pictures

It has been a slow start again to the season.  2013 the fish came early and in abundance and the last two seasons we've geared up early, just in case... all for naught.  It's nice for us in the office.  We get a slower start and more time to acclimate and get things ready.  The forecast… Continue reading Bristol Bay pre-season, in pictures

Alaska Stories

Back in Bristol Bay

It’s mid-afternoon Mug-Up* on the 6th day of my tenth salmon season in Bristol Bay, Alaska. This morning we had partial blue skies and the cold sunny light of early June, but now the grey shrouded sky blends into the floodtide waters of the Naknek River and rain streams down the windows of the office.… Continue reading Back in Bristol Bay

Alaska Stories

So Go Ahead, Wait On the Scent of Salt, Call This Our Life

The season is over. The boats are up on blocks, the dock is empty, the cannery is silent. My bedroom borders on the boatyard, and through the open window I hear the sound of rain outside, dripping and plinking on the back decks of boats scrubbed clean of fish slime and saltwater. They are silent… Continue reading So Go Ahead, Wait On the Scent of Salt, Call This Our Life

Alaska Stories, Uncategorized

Salmon Wakes

Today, I am tired. It is our third week of 16-hour days. 7 days a week. Of ringing phones and constant emergencies, questions, endless paperwork, a crush of pressure to get it all done NOW. And you know what? Compared to everyone else around here, I have it easy. The cannery workers have been working… Continue reading Salmon Wakes

Alaska Stories, Uncategorized

The Fleet Departs

Bristol Bay salmon season officially opens on June 25th. On that day, each fisherman is required to have registered with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) which river district they will be fishing in. Egegik, Ugashik, Nushagak, or Naknek-Kvichak. In the weeks before what is known to us as “Blue Card Day” (in… Continue reading The Fleet Departs

Alaska Stories, Uncategorized

Down In Bristol Bay

Today is 12th day of my 9th salmon season in beautiful Bristol Bay.  Time here is strange… the sun is up 20 hours a day and we work 90 hours a week at the moment, creating something like one long endless day.  12 days feels like 12 weeks.  Or more accurately, it feels exactly as… Continue reading Down In Bristol Bay

Alaska Stories, Uncategorized

Passage to Juneau*

Today my Mom and I leave on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry, bound for Petersburg, Alaska. The trip takes just about 48 hours. I've been wanting to take this trip for 10 years. Besides the perk of not having to be on an airplane, I suppose I've romaticized being on the water. All those years… Continue reading Passage to Juneau*