Captain’s Log 2016

January - February: Retro-fits and Meetings

We started the year with a freezer retro-fit on the F/V Kruzof.  Here Jim is with crewmember, Paul Dupree, and reefer tech ,  Mike Williams.

Out with the old and in with the new

We then continued our meeting season in late January at the Young Fishermen’s Summit, which coincided with the International Pacific Halibut Committee Meeting in Juneau, Alaska. The Young Fishermen’s Summit has always been our favorite as we enjoy mentoring and being inspired by fresh young faces interested in playing a part in our fishing industry.  Having the event in Juneau gave the group a chance to meet the Governor and their respective delegates coupled with familiarizing themselves with State, and Federal fishery regulatory processes.

International Pacific Halibut Commission Conference Board Meeting in Juneau.
Participants and presenters from the Young Fishermen’s meeting with Senator Michicci in Juneau.
Jim speaking at the Young Fishermen’s Summit during the ‘Business of Fishing’ segment of program.

March - April - May: PWS P.Cod etc. & 3A halibut

After projects, meetings and visits outside of Alaska the captain and crew re-grouped in late March to harvest in-State water’s pacific cod.  The new freezer system although tested well after install, started again with some hiccups causing a stir and week delay to the season’s start.  Once repaired they were off and running and by late May put in 3 full freezer trips of cod coupled with some halibut and rockfish landings.

Round P.Cod ready to go in the freezer.
Crewmembers Scott, Darren and Paul showing off part of the catch
And how cold our freezers are.
With fish going every direction, Rhonda stepped out of the office to help with the offload.

June – July: 3B halibut, W.Yak sablefish, 3A halibut

Next to knock out was 3B Halibut.  It was beautiful weather and the trip went fast.  On the way down the vessel pulled into Ouzinkie on Kodiak Island to drop off a wood splitter for the Kodiak Baptist Mission.

Pictured are Jim, Matt Jones, Tony Shtyba, Darren LaChapelle, Mike Jones, and Paul Dupree

After the offload it was a quick switch of deck equipment and re-provisioning in preparation for West Yakutat Sablefish. The trip started well, but then the whales found us which coincided with a weather front and more reefer adjustments.  This provided a 2 day break, then it was back to fishing.

After the 4th of July holiday, we re-equipped again for 3A halibut and made a trip with Rhonda and our chronologically enhanced permit holders on board, Dick Branshaw and Larry Billman.  The catch goal was 35K in 2.5 days, but came up a bit short, so Rhonda had to take another trip later in the fall – somewhat to her chagrin.

August – October: Clarence Straits, SE, CG, & Chatham Straits Blackcod, and more Halibut

This time of the year is our typical harvest hustle for sablefish.  However Jim and the crew were put in pause pattern several times as they thought through and negotiated weather fronts, trip deadlines and distance running between Southeast and the Central Gulf locations.  Like any fishing captain, there was a lot of 2nd guessing littered with over thinking thoughts of ‘I could of, should of, and I bet you this is going to happen’.  This also resonated with giving Jim back issues, just making matters worse.

In between breaks and second thoughts, Paul and Darrin decided to take advantage of the down time and go moose hunting in the interior. The effort resulted in downing a big moose and them losing about 20 pounds of their own weight between each of them while having to make a long and challenging haul from the kill site.

Captain Jim celebrating his 61st in Ketchikan
2016 Crew: Darren, Mike, Tony, Paul, & Scott, taking a break from the boat for some Beach time in S.East
Clarence and Chatham permit holder Dale Bosworth enjoying our company, as we did his stories, while harvesting his sablefish.
Per Buyers request we put up some heads to test some markets. Future will tell how well they are received.
Fishing was good and the freezers served us well.
The pack turned out beautifully

All eventually fell into place as we rambled through the areas, ending with the Chatham Fishery – everyone’s favorite.

Last pallet off the boat for the season.  Time to put a fork in us, call the fishing season done and head home. By October 15th the vessel was tied up for the season and ready for a haul out.

November-December: Haul outs, meetings and visits

In Seward we hauled the boat out for repairs, maintenance and a nice make-up job.  Then shifted gears and clothing from boots to collared shirts, (for Jim), and dresses (for me).

Between Anchorage, Las Vegas and Washington we attended meetings, industry events and connected with friends and family.

Jim, Scott, and wife, Shannalyn at the Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle and a visit to Dick and LaVonne Branshaw’s home in Westport which we are so thankful for, as Dick passed Dec. 13th shortly after our visit.

Karina Nichols, having fun at Anchorage Captain Cook Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. She is our latest Young Fisherman’s summit alumni, now serving as an Advisory panel member of the NPFMC. Good work and best wishes on your new ventures Karina!

We wish to thank:

Our crew, office staff, and vendors for helping us meet the standards and quality of seafood items we produce.  Our customers for keeping the demand alive and paying us in good faith. Our Industry Organizations for helping us stay in the policy game.  Our family and friends for their moral support.  And ultimately the Lord who provides us a wonderful creation to steward and partake in and graces us with health and abilities to do all we do.

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