I started this blog last year, as Sean went off to his fish his first crab season in the Bering Sea. I had really really good intentions of staying up to date with last year's crab season, but things got a little crazy last winter and spring, here at home. As many of you know, Pat was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2005. Last winter, as crab season geared up, so did Pat's ALS. He needed full time care, as the disease left him unable to do anything for himself. I became very busy trying to take care of him, and Crabby Mama blog, went dark.
Last winter and spring, Pat maintained his spirits, but his body was failing. ALS is the cruelest of diseases. This past June, June 4th of 2013, Pat decided he was done with his ALS, and sailed away, up to the heavens, on a beautiful sunny Seattle afternoon. The kids and I were with him as were other family members, and a few close friend. Pat lived his ALS life on his terms, and dictated his end, just the way he wanted. There aren't enough words to describe how amazing Pat was, and still is. He lived with ALS in a such a gracious, loving, humorous, kind way. Even in his last few weeks on earth, he was still running St. George Marine, making sure he had all his plans in place, so we could continue to operate. His gift of life blessed many on this earth. While void left behind is huge, I know he is in a place of love, and guiding us as we continue to own and operate St. George Marine in Pat's honor.
The 2014 Opilio Crab season started on Decemeber 27th, when the crew of the Jennifer A flew into Dutch Harbor Alaska. The boat left the docks on the 29th, and early early on the 30th, they started setting pots in the Bering Sea. The first trip was bountiful and mostly full of calm seas…mostly. On the 3rd of January, the Jennifer A pulled into St. Paul Island to offload all of it's little crabbies. (The Alaska crab fishery is one of the most managed fisheries in the US. It is managed to be sustainable for years to come.)
After about a 10 hour unloading time, the crew had dinner up in the mess hall with the processing crew, rested, and then headed back out to start fishing. Tonight I received a call from Sean, saying they were back in St. Paul with another full load of crab! Fishing is good, and the weather is too. Crabby Mama likes to hear that!
They won't be able to start unloading until the 10th, so tomorrow, rest day. When the boat is fishing crab, they are running gear, and setting pots 20 hours a day. It's a grind, so having tomorrow to rest, his huge. Crabby Mama likes that too!
I will really try to stay up to date on this blog this year! The boat will be fishing crab until late February to early March.
Please feel to read the posts from last year, they go into a little bit of depth as to what crab fishing is all about, for St. George Marine.
On a side note, I can't even begin to thank everyone for all their support last year. It was completely unbelievable and there are days that I am still stunned that Pat is not here. I just really want to say thank you to all of you. Your presence in our lives, has helped to ease our pain and grief.
Here's to full crab pots, smooth seas, and calm seas, to all those fishing. I know Pat is keeping a watchful eye on all.