Authors note: This is a series I wrote a few years ago, previously published at When I was young and foolish, I left to go commercial fishing for a few years. It was the time of my life, and I encourage anyone who had ever thought about it to try it. It is the hardest job you will ever do, but the best one you will ever try.



My Life as a Commercial Fisherman




When I was about 17, I was working as a manager at a

Mexican restaurant, and living with two room mates in Santa Cruz. I was out one night at the Catalyst, partying with some friends and we met these guys who were commercial fishermen. We started drinking with them, and found out that one of them was on his way to Hawaii to get married. As the night went on, we talked about it a lot. It turned out that Chuck, the guy who was leaving, had a dog named Moby, who would be staying on Greg’s boat, as he couldn’t take him with him to Hawaii. Moby was an Irish Setter/Golden Retriever mix. Greg was looking to find another deck hand as fast as possible so he could take off again for Salmon fishing. I said I would go. I was drunk and half kidding, but intrigued by the whole idea. Towards the end of the night, I gave Greg my phone number, as he had invited us down to his boat to check it out, and have a BBQ.
The next day, he DID call, and so I hitch-hiked down to the harbor to check it out. The boat looked awfully small to me, and it actually was a 24 foot Radon, a flat-bottomed boat that was used for Abalone fishing, flat to get in close to the rocks. I didn’t know any of this at the time, but I learned quickly.
We had our BBQ, and drank more, and laughed and talked as the day wore on. Greg talked me into going with him. He said we would be leaving in two days. I made a decision, and then I gave notice to my boss, who was a real ass anyway, and had been taking advantage of me for months. I figured I didn’t owe him anything, so I was giving two days notice.
I told my room mates that I was leaving, and put all my stuff into the basement of a surfer friend of mine. There was some drama with the room mates, but Chuck took care of that, as one of the guys was a real jerk, and was trying to screw me out of my deposit. This guy hadn’t paid any PGE for two months, and now he was trying to get my deposit too!
At any rate, two days later, we left. I had two bags of clothes with me, and a few books. Moby was the driving force, as we hit it off from the gate, I fell head over heels in love with this dog. Chuck shed many tears, as he was his baby. I don’t blame him. There has never been a dog like Moby, and for me, there never will again.
Another thing is that Chuck always called Greg “Doc”, and when I would ask him why, he would laugh and tell me, “oh, you’ll see”.
So there we were, Greg “Doc”, Moby, the Goldie Setter, and myself, stopping off for gas on our way out of the Harbor, off to head up North for Salmon fishing. Our first stop, A`no Nuevo . The boat was a little slow, but we got it out past the Harbor mouth, and then headed into open water. A perfect day, and it was gorgeous on the water. I watched as we putted past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and the thought hit me finally, I am off on a big adventure! I didn’t think it through before that as there really hadn’t been much time to think! It had been a mad dash to pack and move my stuff, sort out the essentials, and pack the boat. I was just going along for the ride, until that moment when I realized what I had done. And it was ok for me!
So, we were off to A`no, and I was going to fish, for the first time in my life.

Next: A`no Nuevo….

© Copyright 2006 Jennifer George. All rights reserved.



Make a Free Website with Yola.