We were estimating the pile of fish it would take to send us around the world before the season and it looked pretty huge, gigantic in fact. The Bristol Bay salmon season has come and gone and Heidi and I are back in Port Alsworth preparing our big travel plans. It was Heidi’s first summer in Bristol Bay trying her hand at the commercial fishing industry, for the last five years she has been a BLM firefighter in Lewistown Montana and now jumping to yet another dangerous job. Heidi was excited for the challenge of something new and I knew she would excel at this new experience. In fact she did, she learned faster and caught on, as if through osmosis, to the process and skills required for the unpredictable living and working on the boat. My buddy Rhett Buchanan and I have been fishing together for many years now and he has honed his own skills in the fishing industry and we work very well together, he was an excellent teacher for the skills she needed through the season. The first day of fishing brought a slow start for team Maggie (the name of our boat) but the catch steadily increased as well as the amount of fishing time for us. The last two weeks we slept about four to six hours per day split between two naps. Nothing I have experienced will keep a guy awake like a beautifully set net boiling with freshly caught fish up and down its length.
Success is measured in many ways. We consider ourselves successful. We made it through the season and kept all our fingers, none of us left the boat unintentionally, Heidi and I are still married and love each other more than ever, and we caught that gigantic pile of fish we were praying for and more.
Maybe the married folk will relate but Heidi and I had so much time together through the salmon season and we enjoyed our time together but we seriously lacked the quality time that we were use to up to that point. Quantity doesn’t make up for quality I am finding. We have had a few days of rest recently and the chance to reconnect has been great. I have found a jewel of a woman, she is truly a Proverbs 31 woman!