Exposed, vulnerable, and at home.
We have spent the last twenty hours catching King Salmon in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska. Not a speck of land or another boat is in sight. Our Detroit Diesel engine goes quiet as we head down below into our bunks. The world around us is not a quiet place. A northwest twenty five knot wind is coming down off the ice fields that are just out of sight. The old Sword has done this trip hundreds of times under many different captains. And I wonder if we are prepared. Her planks creek and groan as the boat falls into the trough of each wave.
Old timers have mentioned that her schooner design should allow us to quarter the seas and have a comfortable sleep. But I am starting to wonder if that is the best plan. Maybe we should start up the engine and jog into the weather… but then we would get no sleep for the coming day. And then I realize what needs to be done. I must find a deeper perspective. So I close my eyes and think of the dark depths beneath me… and quickly I decide THAT’S NOT where I want to roam. So then I think about all the other trips I’ve done out here and how I can never seem to fish closer to shore. And how I’ve looked forward to this trip as if I was a kindergartener waiting for Christmas morning. It’s time to go to sleep, forget about our worries and know that tomorrow night we will all be too exhausted to worry about the weather.