The Jennifer A just finished up with their third trip, and are tied safely at the dock in Dutch Harbor. The unloading of the crab began early this morning. Everyone is working pretty hard to get unloaded, soooo, they can all go watch the Seahawks game. Glad they have their priorities straight!
This trip, was definitely a Bering Sea winter crab trip. (Lisa, if you are reading this, PLEASE skip down to the next paragraph.) There was wind, (up to 50 mph) there was serious wave action (seas and waves building up to 12 feet) and there was rain. The good news was, the wind was warmish, so there was no freezing spray…no ice building up on the boat! The weather was going to start building and become even nastier, so while the JenA did not have a full load of crab, Kjell, our skipper made the call to head to Dutch. Sean said it was a good move, because as they were heading to Dutch, the weather did come up. On the way in, the wind was blowing and the seas were building, they ended up in "the ditch" pretty much the whole ride in. What's "the ditch" you ask? Well, it's kind of like sitting in a ditch, with the waves, the big waves, slapping up against you on each side, making the ride very rocky and rolly. Bleck!
The crabbing is going pretty fast, for us. We have 2 trips left, and we will have filled our quota. I think I've mentioned this before, but every year we are issued crab quota that tells us how many pounds of crab we can catch. This amount is determined by the overall crab quota…our quota is a certain percentage of the overall quota. This season, we are fishing our quota, and fishing the quotas that were issued to 3 other quota holders. Sometimes, we will trade our king crab quota, for opilio quota. Meaning, we let some one else fish our king crab, and in return we get to fish their opilio quota. This trading is called leasing. There are rates negotiated for leasing, as determined by the the two negotiating the lease, and staying within industry standards. For instance, a lease rate of 50-50 means 50% of the money from the delivery goes to the owner of the quota, and the other 50% goes to the boat fishing the quota.
Why wouldn't you just always fish your own quota? Because some times, based on the quota you are issued, it's not cost efficient to fish your quota. The cost of gearing up, and actually fishing, are more than you will make fishing your quota. So, you trade around. It works out well. Ok, enough of that…it makes me feel like I should go start crunching numbers on the calculator!
Pat LOVED all the negotiating and wheeling and dealing that went with talking to people about leasing their quota, or for them to lease ours. I can totally picture him still, in his walking days, talking on his cell phone, with his ear piece in, pacing around the kitchen, hands in his jean pockets, with a half smile on his face, and every once in a while raise his eyebrows at me…with either a big smile, or an eye roll! I knew things were going good when he walked out to the living room, and sat down on the couch to make the deal. It was the same thing in his wheelchair days. He would drive around, back and forth between the living room and kitchen…chatting away, smile or an eye roll, and when then closing the deal in the living room, looking out the window, that faced the Cascade mountains. On the nice sunny days, those wheelchair deals were made driving around the deck, chatting away, doing what he loved…not letting his ALS slow him down or define him.
Speaking of ALS, in October I was honored to be asked to serve on the Board of Directors for ALS Therapy Development Institute. (ALS TDI) In the last weeks of Pat's life, I told him that I was going to keep doing my ALS Advocacy, and he blinked yes in agreement. I am thrilled to be a part of ALS TDI's innovative approach to finding a treatment for ALS, by being able to serve on their board. Pat's legacy will not be dying from ALS, but instead, inspiring me to keep working to find a treatment…that will be his legacy.
I am really excited to be part of a new program at ALS TDI, and I know it's something Pat would have totally supported. ALS TDI is developing ALS stem cell lines, made from the skin cells of those people who are actually living with ALS. The hope is that once these lines are developed, the scientists will be able to test drugs on these stem cells, and see how the disease reacts. This is much more cost efficient way to test drugs. Plus, by finding similarities in different ALS stem cells, it will help to speed the process up. If there is one thing ALS needs, is speed…speed in finding a treatment.
If you are interested in learning more, you can click here: IPS
(And warning, the freeze frame of me is not so flattering…but the video was produced well!) Thanks for looking.
I've added some more pictures of the JenA crew unloading crab. It's from last year, but the process is the same! Sean was going to try and get new pictures today! Thanks for reading…and Go Seahawks!