Saturday, January 13, 2007

First Post!

"Call me Fishmeal. Some time ago--never mind how long precisely--having graduated college and having little or no money in my bank account, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would go to Alaska and sail the Bering Sea. It is a way I have of courting suicide by ocean, and earning money too."

Now that Herman Melville is going to kick my butt around the Pequod five times, some basics about me: Joan, 23 years old, and since July 2005, working on the US fishing fleet on the Bering Sea as a federal observer. You may have seen a few of the boats of the fleet on the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch". In short, yes, I work in those conditions on my three-month contracts, but I also work with fish, not crab, and do trawl net and longline fisheries as well as pots like those seen on TV.

As of last November, I'm also a student knitter, since it's a perfect thing to drag on the boats and keep myself occupied. Plus warm stuff is always good in Dutch Harbor...besides, knitting needles are always useful if fishermen get too fresh, I guess.

Right now I'm in Seattle ready to hop on a boat steaming north on Sunday, so I'll get a chance to see the British Columbia coastline, which I've never gotten to do before as we always get flown out to the Aleutian Islands and hop on a boat in Dutch Harbor. That should be a fun time, as well as giving me a few days without much to do before my time in the tenth circle of hell begins.

I'll post my projects and about my job and the place I work as I have internet access when I'm ashore in Dutch.