Fishing Season Beginning

In January every season starts by leaving the home port, in our case Seattle – this might be different for each company depending on what they are fishing for. We steamed for about 8 days all the way to Dutch Harbor. Before we started fishing, we worked for free. Last time I worked 11 days for free, so don’t be surprised. It is just how it is. Most of the work was done before we started the journey – backload. There were no shifts, everybody worked till everything was loaded on the ship. Last time I worked for 20 hours straight. We loaded food for the next 30 days, equipment for engine room, factory and deck, got rid of the garbage and all the mess left after shipyard, cleaned the inhabited part of the boat, picked our rooms…

Before we started fishing, we worked for of a fisherman
While steaming, we had day shifts and night shifts. Factory crew was preparing the factory – machinery cleaning, repairing, putting on the belts, tools organization… Deck crew was setting everything up on the deck – lines, ropes, completing the net, getting everything to work before reaching Dutch Harbor. We worked 6-8 hours a day; we didn’t work that hard since we weren’t getting paid. For the rest of the day, we could do anything we wanted. If we finished before the deck crew, I could go help them and gain some more experience for a deckhand position.

When we reached Dutch Harbor, backload continued by preparing for the first trip. On my first steam ever, I worked for over 30 hours straight – and for free.

In November, at the end of the season, our boat steams back to Seattle where the shipyard process takes place – boat preparation for the new season.