Indian Summer Keeps Sardines Up North
Amazing to have an indian summer over the Columbia River mouth this late, but it is indeed the case. Steve and his crew of Nate, Marcus, and Johnnie are still going out two to three days a week and roundhauling the larger size sardines. Only two boats remain fishing: our Papa George
and the Emerald Sea.
Together they would like to polish off the remaining quota, and finish the season with a bang. Our market will close down on Thursday November 11th, so the end determines the beginning of squid season for us in Southern California.
Steve will load two nets and the pieces for a new sardine net into the hold, pick the skiff, take a couple of thousand gallons of diesel, repack the raft, and head for the open ocean and parts South. It is a good feeling to catch one's share of a fish quota, finish the season, and experience closure. Often I am reminded of the end of salmon season in the Shumagins (Alaska), when the last humpy is in the brailer, and the fish scales are scrubbed off the cabin sides and hull. The long summer days of holding hook and roundhauling boatloads of salmon are finished and the crew is toughened and strong and want to go raise hell somewhere. But there's 1200 miles from the Shumagins to Seattle...an 8-12 day round the clock run past Kodiak, across the Gulf and down into Icy Straits and Southeast Alaska. Then the inland passage to Canada, Scarlet Point...turn to port and head down Johnstone Straits. Getting close now. We hit Anacortes at midnight and begin the process of turning the boat into a Puget Sound seiner. The next day we go searching for the right tide to set for pinks. I am daydreaming about our 80's & 90's era of salmon seining on Steve's other boat, the Miss Juli,
an Alaskan 58' limit seiner. The end of a season brings a sigh of relief, hope for the next one, and sometimes a fatter wallet. It is 24 hour waterfront property.
I have two more weekends at the University and West Seattle Farmers Markets. The last two markets are:
University.....Saturday, November 20
West Seattle...Sunday, November 21