Captain’s Log 2015

January - February

We started the year with a trip to Hawaii, where we indulged ourselves in an interesting “Farm to Plate” tour.  It involved learning about and foraging for food for our lunch table up in the farm hills of Maui.  Then in February we visited some work related friends in southern California where we warmed up and dried out in the desert.

March

By the end of February crewmembers gathered in Seward to get the boat ready for its first trip of the year.  After a long winter break the crew is always excited to go back to work.

We headed out to Prince William Sound for Pacific Cod which was a fun way to start our fishing season.  Due to certain fish behavior, our work day was made short, giving us the closest thing to a 9-5 job a long liner could have!  Fishing was fruitful and consistent. Within a few weeks we completely stuffed the Kruzof holds with frozen H&G product.

April

Rhonda traveled to Europe to attend the Brussels Seafood show in Belgium for the first time where she connected with other fish colleagues and prospective buyers. It was a great trip.

May

The Captain’s son, Scott, never thinking he would find a soul mate, did the seemingly impossible, and got married!  The new member of the family and formidable fish wife, Shannalyn West Hubbard, did not get to enjoy a full honeymoon.  She had a business trip and there was fish to catch, so after the “half moon” the groom flew back to Alaska and the Kruzof headed out for its first black cod trip of the season in West Yakutat.  Due to whales and weather the trip took longer than expected but finally got it done and headed back to Seward.

Jim showing his diverse skill as engineer, captain, & bookkeeper
Rhonda’s By-Catch- Rockfish & LingCod, thanks to Jim
Halibut Quota holder Larry Billman from Minnesota
Jim- enjoys keeping his floors waxed. What Captain does that?

May

May was a month of travel and prepping for the next fishing trip. Our travels took us to Minnesota and South Dakota to visit our elder Halibut quota holders. Jim really liked checking out the big farm tractors as we drove from one state to the next. Then we went to West Virginia to attend a nephews wedding and visit sister Beth’s Farmer’s Market where some of our fish is sold. While there we were also invited to speak with some High School honors students about how our fisheries are managed in Alaska. We shared the types of fish and fishing methods that occur around our state coupled with management practices and policy challenges that affect what we do and how we operate.

By month end the insurance bill has arrived and needs to be paid, coupled with a large order of bait and gear. Yes, its time to get away from the dock and re-visit the fishing grounds.

June

3B halibut got underway, but we first stopped by Chignik to help out a few local fishermen, Glen Burkhart and Dean Anderson, process their subsistence salmon. Given our freezing capabilities we loaded the freezers.and kept the quality pristine. The Halibut trip in 3B went smoothly landing it in Seward by late June. We then cleaned up the boat and took time off until after July 4th – Our one guaranteed break for the summer!

July

We departed for 3A halibut on July 7th  with quota holders Larry Billman, Rhonda, and an observer. This made for a very full boat which displaced a crew member due to limited life raft seats. Besides halibut, we landed a variety of products which made the trip more interesting.

After the halibut trip, we quickly re-tooled for black cod and provisioned with bait and groceries to head to Southeast Alaska for the next 2 months.  Starting with the Southeast federal fishery we had a dismal beginning which forced us into a brief break to get reoriented.  It proved helpful. We finished out the trip in 3 days and landed it on Jim’s 60th Birthday!

August

This month was another double header, full of celebrity appearances from our quota holders from trip to trip.  Bill Menish joined us in Clarence Strait where the fish are typically smaller, but they were plentiful!

Next came Chatham Strait, one of our favorite fisheries as the black cod are HUGE and plentiful.   Lonny, Rhonda, and Doug came as our quota holders.  Doug even got his hands dirty (or bloody).   He put on his skins and showed the crew members how to scrape a black cod properly.  (Actually, he let us show him).

October - Decebmer

The last quarter of the year consisted of finalizing fish orders and shipments, cleaning up fish settlements, and our annual fall season trip to Washington for meetings and the Pacific Marine Expo.  We then settled into a winter and holiday rest reconnecting with family, friends and homemade sushi for Christmas.

Another year done–  Many thanks to our crew, vendors and customers for their good works, service and patronage.

September

The Kruzof, now done with all the SE Alaska fishing, on its way back to Seward worked in Central Gulf in effort to catch the last of its halibut and sablefish.  After one harbor day in Icy Bay and 2 fishing days, we cleaned up the remaining halibut quota.  Blackcod fishing however was a different story.  With few vessels on the fishing grounds, the whales zoned in on us. Adding to our frustration, storm season was settling in giving us windows of only two to three days of fishing.  Then the freezer system started acting up.  So after about the 4th time getting stormed in we decided to call it a season.

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