The two weeks they were in Dutch Harbor, they accomplished getting all the crab pots ready to fish. That included mending any holes in the web, checking the bouys (floats) and the throwing lines to make sure all is ready to go for fishing. All 150'ish crab pots are loaded on board the Jennifer A. Sean and the crew will head back up to Dutch on the 27th, and head out to the Bering Sea
The morning of the 27th, Sean and I were out the door dark and early. Instead of driving him to the airport, I hijacked him and hid him away so he couldn't leave to go fishing in the Bering Sea, in the middle of the winter...just kidding! I ran him over to his skipper's home, and they then headed down to the airport, met up with the rest of the crew, and all made it out to Dutch Harbor about 6:30pm on Thursday. This is a text I received from Sean just as they landed: "Made it into Dutch just in time before snow started falling and visibility dropped. Had to stop in King Salmon for fuel in case we had to turn around and head back to Anchorage." Traveling in Alaska is always an adventure, especially when your final destination is the middle of the Bering Sea, in the middle of winter...!
Yesterday in Dutch was spent doing paper work (gotta keep the insurance companies happy!), getting last minute supplies, and grub (boat talk for food!) An old fishing tradition, or superstition, is that you never leave a port on a Friday, so at 12:01am on Saturday morning, the Jennifer A set sail for the crab fishing grounds, in the middle of the Bering Sea, in the middle of winter!
The first thing Pat did this morning was check the Jennifer A's position via the Satellite Tracking System, and see where the boat was. We could see they had pulled out of Dutch and are making their way out to the fishing grounds. The weather is good for traveling. Yay! Tonight when we checked the Sat. Track system, Pat was able the boat had slowed down getting close to the area where they will drop their pots and begin fishing.
So cool!!! We just received an from Sean! He said they are about 12 hours from "splashing down" their pots. The weather has been following seas (that's good) and pretty nice. Once the pots are down, they will need to soak for about 24 hours...and that's when we hope many many crab will crawl in and then soon be in the fish hold of the Jennifer A!
Sean tried to send a couple pictures from Dutch yesterday, but he couldn't get connected to the internet. I've posted some pictures of the boat ready to leave for Dutch last year, which probably looks pretty close to the boat getting ready to leave this year! I'll post more in a couple days, once we get a feel for how fishing is going. Do your good vibe crab dance that those little opilio crab climb into our pots!
Here's to a crab filled, health filled, safety filled, and wonderful 2013!