Home. Sweet home.
Clean sheets, warm showers, a bed that doesn't sway with the ocean and reek with the putrid stench of three men living and working on a thirty two foot boat for five long weeks. Despite the fact that Steady Freddy undoubtedly runs the finest kitchen in Bristol Bay, my beautiful wife's home cooking is second to none and nourishes the little aches and pains slowly from this aging vessel of mine.
There is a grand story to be told of the time I was a rookie deck hand aboard the F/V Potential on Bristol Bay. It is a rich tale, full of characters larger than life and events that one simply must see to believe. Thomas Jefferson once said, The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. The truth is also that some stories should exist only in oral legend until they fade from the memory of those who were there, and become the mist that fogs the space between the fact and fiction of our history. I will be brief.
I left for Alaska a couple months ago seeking an adventure, but with the eyes and mind of a tourist. Fishing however, has a way of changing a man and pushed me places where I could never have driven myself. The things I learned being a thirty-six year old greenhorn in a game where nobody gives a fuck about where you went to college, the letters in front of your name, or what you think you may have accomplished in your last job has taught me more than I ever could have anticipated. As I lifted off the runway of Dillingham last week, leaving the clean water, expansive green tundra and steaming volcanoes of Southwest Alaska below, I realized that in my chest no longer beat the heart of a traveler, but that of a fisherman.
Bristol Bay didn't leave an impression on me, it left a dent. Alaska is in my future.
Hydration stop. Naknek, Alaska.