24 below and Boat Contemplation Blues

It’s April 30 here, but still 24 below and a brisk breeze of 9 mph tonight. That may not seem like much wind, but it is when it’s this cold, and immediately hits any exposed skin.

The days are so much longer and sunny now, though, that it’s much easier to take and doesn’t seem as cold as it should.

I’ve been fretting for over a year about buying a boat down on Prince of Wales, and I’m finally going down to look at it when I get back to Juneau. This will involve a flight from Juneau to Ketchikan, a ferry ride of 3 hours from Ketchikan to Hollis on Prince of Wales, then a several hour drive to Whale Pass…unless the road isn’t open, by which we’ll then have to try to take a boat over from Coffman Cove.

We’re finally at least breaking even in our fish business. We’ve been fishing with another family near Juneau, selling their fish into our markets while they continue selling into theirs. We have virtually no competition amongst ourselves – in fact, if someone approaches me who would be better served by my quasi-partner, then I send those folks to him, and vice versa.

However, it seems this is not enough anymore. Having trolled those 5 years, only after I quit did I realize how important it was to be out in a boat, anchored up in some small cove, cooking some deer stew on the stove and listening to the weather. Or maybe riding out a gale. Solitude and the ocean are two things you can’t find in many other places. Even fishing the gillnet fishery with my friend is just not the same. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the other boats nearby. Maybe it’s the gear and how we’re fishing a net instead of hook and line. Who knows.

So, I may turn back to trolling. This time, I’m going in with my eyes wide open for a change. We have ready markets for all our fish, and hopefully have run into every administrative wall and know how to deal with the regulatory BS. Hopefully, we’ll continue breaking even and hopefully have a real boat gain, albeit a much smaller one than the fabulous Dutch Master, which is still fishing near Pelican last time I knew. We’ll see when I get there if it’s everything it seems on paper and in photos, or if live-and-in-person ends up not being what I want.

After losing so much, like everyone else, in the stock market, I’m ready to invest likely as losing an investment, but one that at least I can touch and enjoy.