Friday, January 22, 2010

My time so far…

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We got word that we were flying out one day earlier then we were originally told. No big deal spent yesterday packing up everything and preparing to leave today. Called three taxis to come pick us up at the bunkhouse along with all of our equipment.

We got to the airport and started checking in. I knew that I was going to have to pay for overages because my blue baskets were heavy, 89 pounds to be exact. It cost me $100 to have it flown out to Dutch.

The flights out to Dutch were filled with beautiful landscapes of snow covered mountains and volcanoes. We flew to Cold Bay then to Sand Point and finally to Dutch. The landing into Dutch was quite the wild ride. The plane passes the runway and makes a big loop around to land from the other side. The plane has to bank real hard and land immediately after coming out of the bank. The runway is short and you think you’re going to fall off the other end. It was wild.

After landing Cory called Troy to see what was happening, Myself and Jason are to meet our boat there at the airport and get on board right away. I met Lynn, the mate for the Gadus, and we went to Alaska Ship Supply. I bout a few things there and we went to meet the boat at Crawly dock. I was shown my bunk and was given my safety orientation by Lynn.

Spent the night on board

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We left port today at 1646. Not really much to say. I watched movies most of the day and went to bed around 2200

Friday, December 25, 2009

I stayed in bed till 0100 when I hit the head and sat around for awhile then headed back to bed. Got up for breakfast around 0800 then back to bed till 1100. The seas are really good from what everyone tells me. I may actually be a little sea sick, not bad just nauseous and tired. I am really happy that I have a week to get used to this before I have to start work.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Still steaming to our fishing area, I was told yesterday that this is the slowest boat in the blue fleet. I didn’t do much of anything today, I played my game a couple of times throughout the day. I am also still not 100% with the rocking of the boat, I can now say that I can get sea sick it just take 15’ swells constantly to give me a very uncomfortable feeling.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I am tired and I know this won’t be the end of that feeling once we start fishing. I woke up several times last night to the boat rolling really hard. I got up and had some breakfast and went straight back to bed for a couple of hours feel a bit better.

Spent some time with ‘Dude’ the captain of the boat and the Chief Engineer in the wheel house talking about my time in the Navy and politics in general, while I was up there I noticed a large bird flying around. I went to lunch and went back to the wheel house with Binoculars in hand and found out that it was a Lyasian Albatross. I was super excited. I also saw Northern Fulmars and Galacus Gulls, and one unidentified Shearwater, pretty sure.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last night was a rough night, I had a migraine that started about 0045, I had to pee and the ship started rocking a lot. So I got up and had to try to quietly open my drawer with my meds in it, finally go that done then had to find my pills in the semi darkness of our stateroom. Finally got the pill ran to the head peed and took my pill. Climbed back in to my rack and proceeded not to sleep well. I had nasty dreams for the rest of the night. I couldn’t really get a descent sleep. Got up at 0600 waited for breakfast around 0730 ate and then went to bed for a nap. I feel slightly better but the rocking is pounding my upset tummy. L

We are supposed to start fishing in two days time, I expect the first line to be hitting the water at 0001 on new year’s day. With the first haul back around 0600. That is when this job gets tough.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Damn I am tired today. I went to bed pretty early last night, 2200, and took my sleeping pill and my Singular and a sea sick pill. Wasn’t feeling too hot. Got up this morning and feel pretty good but now I am super tired. It is just hard to sleep while this ship is rolling so much. Today and tomorrow is supposed to be a pretty laid back day over all. Everyone is getting ready for the fishing and the anticipation of the start of the season is just filling the air. The first haul back is anticipated on new year’s day around 0600 and I will be expected to be there, not for sampling since this is my first ship. I will watch how everything is working where to stand and how long it takes for a typical haul back. During this first set I ill ask for By-catch and complete my species ID forms for NMFS. I am about to play my game for a few hours and hopefully wake up a bit. I still need to complete my VHF and OHF forms for the day but that can wait till noon.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Well It has been a learning process on many levels. I was having difficulties during my first two hauls on board, with too much by catch and taking too long in between hauls and missing the Mag knots and losing samples. I overcame that fairly readily by sitting and timing the mags and how fast they came in so I could time my samples. I was able to start my sex/length samples with only a little timing issue and tried otoliths on my last haul and only got one pair in sted of the required two. I will have to work on that.

I have been off for three going on four hauls now due to the weather. The top deck is covered in ice, now that alone would not be enough to stop me from working but the fact that we are having 16 foot swells and 50 knot winds does play a large factor in whether I can work or not. Dude, the captain strogly suggested that I not sample for a while, at least till this storm blows through. I totally agreed with and thought that you would agree. I haven’t taken any photos yet, really nervous about bringing out my camera on the boat. Everyting in the factory is wet and bloody and slimy so I think I am going to wait until I can get that waterproof camera I was looking at before I left. I have more than enough clothes, in fact I probably have entirely too many clothes. I also did not need the two pairs of shoes and my crocs for this trip just my boots and my crocs. I wear my crocs on board when I am not working and my X-tra tuffs the rest of the time.

I question whether or not this is the right place for me, it is by far the toughest job I have ever had. It is challenging which is nice, but I am not sure I can do this for more than two years. It is also hard to find someone to connect with on an intellectual level, most of the hands and factory workers don’t have anything past a GED if their lucky. I think all of them have been in jail at least once and several of them have one or more child support payments.

I have discovered that I can get seasick. It took several days to build up to it but yesterday I was not feeling good and finally it dawned on me that I was seasick. I took one of my pills and a few hours later I was back on top of the world. I am off again today because of the weather. It is rather rough, and I am trying to stay occupied with reading and playing my games on the computer.

I have been communicating with my in-season advisor, Drew, and he has been extremely supportive in my decision making for the job. He has also been giving me Bengals updates. OUCH sounds like yesterdays game was the worst ever for the team.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It has been a very difficult eight days for me. I pretty much am either working waiting to work or sleeping. I have been working 18 -20 hour days with about 6-10 hours off. Not really in accordance with what NMFS wants but it is what they are getting. I just got done with a 22 hour shift and got a nice sleep and I have a bit of time before the next haul so I thought I would break out the computer and jot down some thoughts.

I am not really sure that this is the job for me. The work itself is not hard but the hours required to get the work done is horrible. I walk around in a zombie like state most of the time wishing that it would be over. Then I take a nap and realize that I was lead here for some reason and if this is where I am supposed to be then so be it.

I am holding out hope that I will get hired back by Bruce at ANP, I truly loved that job. I really got in to the work and met some great friends there. I hope that my current job is just a prelude to me working permanently for the NPS somewhere or the USFWS.

I do not have the time to work on my thesis for grad school and that is gnawing at me I need the internet for references and the time to do it.

I am hoping that I can keep working at this job until April and the go back to ANP in May sometime.

Still no pictures, It is killing me to see everything here and not be able to share it with you. The different fish, crabs, starfish and birds are pretty amazing. I need to get ready for the next haul.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today is my second day without sampling because of weather and the boat’s first day without fishing. Boring! I have slept more in the past 48 hours then I can ever remember. I have played video games, edited pictures, and watched movies. I wish I had brought more books with me because I am about done with the five that I do have.

I wish I could work on my thesis but I really need the internet to get my citations. I guess I could put down a rough draft.

I had a dream last night that I was back at Acadia this summer, wonder if it comes true.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I went to bed last night with a very sore back. The fish were coming in very large, some of the largest yet or I was just lucky enough to sample the heaviest fish EVER! Thank God for the ketalorac that I still had from my last ‘episode’ of back pain. I woke up feeling good and ready to take on the world. I then found out that I had missed my intended haul by two hours but the next haul would be the last for this trip. WOOHOO! As I write this the last Mag is coming in now and we will get underway to Dutch. It will take about two and a half days to get there and then about 24 – 36 hours to off load then we will be underway again to get more fish.

On this last haul I got to be the rollerman for a little while. It was kind of fun and I had a great teacher out there, Jose, showing me the ropes. I will do it again and have someone take some pictures of me while doing it.

Can’t wait to hit port, I am looking forward to calling home and seeing how things are there make sure Gina is getting paid and that the kids and dog are ok. Then I am going to get the biggest diet Pepsi and down it, I really miss my sodas. When I get to port I have several things that I need to accomplish, the first (other than calling home) is to have a Mid-cruise debriefing, this will help me in pointing out any errors that I may have in my paperwork and I can ask questions to help clarify anything that might not be totally clear. I am then going to find internet and check e-mails and find out what is going on in the world. Then hit AK Supply and buy a 12 pack of soda and hide them in the reefer unit. I am debating on whether or not to get a hotel room for a night just for some peace and solitude. Just don’t know if I can justify spending any money when I have a perfectly good rack to sleep in.

Well that is all for now. I will try to post this when I hit port. And so we go…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We started steaming for port last night around 2100. We have a two and a half day steam ahead of us, which will put us in port sometime Thursday morning. I have nothing to do now until we hit port. I need to start reading the offload section of my manual to see what my duties are when the offload begins.


I will be leaving today for another two to three weeks…

I received some great news today that I will almost certainly be headed back to Acadia for the summer. the only thing that will stop me is a job opportunity in New Mexico. It is a full time temp job for the summer Back woods banding…I am truly torn as to where I would like to go…I will just let it happen the way it is supposed to go.

Here are some things from the cruise.

Yes that is Ice

and more ice. this is Francis he is at the rolloer station

breaking ice


battery is almost dead that is all for now… I miss you all