Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Business of Fishing in Skiffs

The Raider was the smaller of the two skiffs we were using. Jeremy was the driver for the most part. Progressing from someone who had only driven outboards in placid resort lakes to a competent operator by the end of the month. Not without many a mishap in the meantime however.

In the picture thats Jeremy driving and Matt on the bow, I'm probably in the Anne Marie, the other skiff we ran, taking this picture.

Once we got kicked off our original sites, we had to split up and just run two guys to a skiff which is the minimum number, though lots of other skiffs had 3 or even 4 crew. We had to use just two guys becuase once we lost our original two adjacent sites we had to go out each day looking for empty sites to fish from and lots of times, the ones we would find would be a good distance from one another. Making it impossible to set, monitor, and pick our nets with just one skiff.

At first we were real nervous about fishing with two guys since it meant that there was a much smaller margin of error for everything. Two fewer pairs of hands to push the skiff into the surf, untangle the net, roundhall the net, etc. And since with four guys we fucked up on a daily basis, it seemed unlikely that we would be able to get through the days with just two guys on crew. But we did, weathering surf, rocky beaches, tangled nets and rotten fish, all with no major problems. Well, looking back on it now, its as if there were no major problems. Since nothing turned out bad, but of course, plenty went wrong. On a daily basis.

Reminds of my motto for the first week or so, "alls well that ends well," which after the second week was shortened to just "alls well that ends". Which in fact, is pretty much how i feel now. Its over, its good. whew.

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