Sunday, July 10, 2011

One on One Time on the Boat

The hauling rotation this year works out such that I have a short day after two full days. These are good days to take company along. Lydia came out and did a beautiful pencil sketch of a lobster. We had lots of time to talk because there isn't much else to do on a 15 foot boat besides work and visit. Then I took Lisa all the way around to the far west side of the island. Aside from Alaska-esque wild scenery of the north shore and west side, we had lots of time to visit. Yesterday Fiona crewed for my jaunt out to the Whale's Back Ledge. She was good luck for me.

The common thread, aside from wanting my family to know what it is I do in my very unusual work environment, is that we get precious one on one time. We often seem just a wee tad fractious and overly lively when it's all five together. Five sets of priorities, directions and schedules gets overwhelming. Pair time is an important, relaxing and enriching way of staying connected.

The lobsters are napping now, getting ready for the big stampede. I'm bleached and sunbaked outside and in, feeling the wear and tear of the early season push and needing a slow-down before the really long push to the end of the season.

I've added another solar panel graciously donated by my friend John, and fitting as neat as can be right behind the other one. After the disintegration of my charge controller, I had to work for a week or so on just the battery charged at home. Getting the solar system reinstalled, I was aware from the first day how much that slow steady charge extends the work capacity of the boat. Instead of limping in after 75 traps on a dead battery, I did the whole day, zipped back in, then went out the next for my short day with Fiona, then took the family over to Wheaton Island- all without any household current.

This ain't powering a laptop or radio. This is solar power doing very heavy work.

Molting time, as discouraging as it is from the fishing perspective, is a great time to enjoy the island. I took Fiona and Ryan fishing with proper fishing pole, line and hook. I've been wanting to do this for years, and always felt too hurried and fixated on work to pull it off. We tied off to one of my buoys right at the opening of the harbor next to Wheaton Island, where we'd dropped Lisa off to do some gardening. Our line wasn't in the water for 5 seconds before there was a bite. Ryan and Fiona both landed several pollock in short order. What a thrill it is to feel that tug and see the pole bending down.

Ryan and Fiona are both chafing hard today to get right back out and fish some more. I'm dragging my heels and points north, hoping to breathe and slow down. Thank heavens for no-haul Sundays.

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