The pot was seven feet tall and seven feet wide and three feet deep, a steel frame covered in metal netting, 750 pounds of dead weight empty. Kate was five feet tall, weighed just over 120 pounds and was mere flesh and bone, but she had Newton on her side, and she waited. She could feel the rest of the crew watching, but she was fiercely determined to do this herself, without help and, more importantly, without asking for help. A muscle in her back rebelled at the unaccustomed strain and spasmed. She cursed beneath her breath, though if she’d shouted her voice would not have been heard above the crash of Aleutian water on deck, the howl of Aleutian winds overhead and the rough, deep-throated roar of the engine beating up through the soles of her feet.
Fun fact: I spent five years of my childhood on a 75-foot fish tender, the Celtic. Here’s a painting of it by artist Brad Hughes.
When you’re a kid, your life is just your life. I climbed a ladder to get to school, so what? I was gone most summers because that’s when the salmon run, and one winter when we went trapping in Prince William Sound. I rode along on some serious storms, and I saw the Perseid meteor shower at sea, which is the best way to see a meteor shower or watch the moon rise or observe any astronomical event.
That time also bred in me a lifelong determination never to try to make a living at fishing. Writing is a much warmer, dryer job.
And it doesn’t make you seasick.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.