The third week of commercial Lobster fishing is in the bag. I am happy to report my problem with my hands have slightly improved since last week. although they are still in pain it is now bearable and I hope it only improves from here on out.
after a few weeks on the water and learning the job I was reminded that it only takes a split second for things to go wrong. when you work at any job it is easy to get complacent in the tasks at hand and I was reminded that every second of every long day I need to be at the top of my game out there. I have landed and set 250 traps a day 6 days a week for the past 2.5 weeks, doing the same thing over and over that many times a day can result in letting your guard down a bit. working on the ocean like this you should always be aware of what’s going on around you. the number 1 rule on the boat is “do not step on the ropes” although the routine of setting the traps back in the water after we have harvested and re-baited the traps is almost 2nd nature by now, on Wednesday afternoon after I had set the last trap in the water I was walking back towards the front of the boat to grab the buoy and through it into the water as I do on every set, when the rope suddenly kicked out from its normal path along the floor of the boat as it must have hit something to make it do this. the rope kicked out into the middle of the boats deck, made a small loop, and as I took my next step forward I happened to step right into the loop as it was making its way over board. The rope wrapped around my foot and within a split second tightened quickly and pulled my leg backwards. I was lucky enough to feel the rope tighten and I kicked my leg quickly back behind me and the rope unravelled off my foot and went over the stern without incident. I knew if I had not had that exact reflex at that exact moment I would have been pulled overboard into the near freezing waters. I shook my head a bit took a moment to re gather myself and was back ready to land the next set of traps.
on Friday afternoon we had some fog roll in, this is an incredible sight to see. we could literally see a wall of fog from miles away slowly make its way from the horizon get closer and closer covering everything in its path, birds started landing on the water, boats started disappearing into the thick fog and pretty soon the land was out of sight and we were alone in a cloud so thick that all we could do was to sit in place put the boat in neutral and have a cup of tea and wait for the fog to lift a bit. It didn’t take long maybe a half an hour and it was light enough to see a few of our buoys that we could get back to work this happened 3 more time throughout the day but nonetheless we got through the day and returned to an empty dock and no buyers to land our catch. Usually there are a couple of buyers at dockside to land the catch of the day once we arrive to port. the Captain had to load the crates of Lobster into his truck and take them to the buyers processing plant a few miles away to the next town of Port Hood.
Lastly I will report that Saturday was the toughest day of my trip to date. It was my youngest sons 12th birthday today and it was all I could think about all day and how I wish I was back home for him, it must be hard for my kids to be home without dad for this long. I don’t like to write about how difficult it actually is to be away from your family for such a long period of time as I try to do everything I can not to think about it but Saturday was a tough one for me.