Almost time to pull the lines

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

She’s starting to look like a boat again. That is the first thought

I had this morning as I returned to Foss Shipyard after the weekend.

The Baranof is in the water. Almost all of the deck boards are down.

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The companion way is the only area left to be painted. Mark and I

have finished webbing the last of the pots. In other words, it’s

almost time to go fishing. Just last week, I was dreading it. I

could feel the first week in August creeping up, just waiting for me

to drop my guard just long enough, to have the day sprung on me.

Now, I’m ready. I’m ready hang longline gear as we travel to Dutch Harbor,, ready to backload over sixty thousand pounds of squid bait,

and even more ready to take my spot on the controls of the auto-

baiter and watch the hook shoot off the stern.

This is my first time to take a boat from Seattle to Alaska. I’ve

traveled from Alaska to Seattle twice, but this is much different.

Instead of everyone being happy that the work is done, everyone is

eager for the work to begin. “Let’s just throw the lines today and

finish it on the way up,” was the phrase of the day. I think it

really has to do with the boat.

You can tell a lot about a crew by what the boat looks like. That

was advise that I got from my first Captain, Mark Thomas. That was

what he would tell me and the other deckhand, Silas, as we scrubbed

the boat from one in to the other. He was right. Back in June, a

dully painted boat with rust on the superstructure, weaved its way

through the inside passage of Canada. We all felt like the Baranof

looked, ragged for a year’s fishing. Now after a couple months of

rest, and fresh paint I may add, were refreshed and as good as new.

Yes, I can honestly say, it is time to go fishing, and I can’t wait.