Hooked (Blog)

Bear the Boat Cat: 8.2.06 — 9.4.18

Posted by on November 13, 2018 in Hooked Favorites | 15 comments

Bear the Boat Cat: 8.2.06 — 9.4.18

In the spring lead­ing up to the 2006 salmon sea­son, Joel and I had already endured two sum­mers as a cou­ple sep­a­rat­ed by our boats. As he pre­pared for his sec­ond sea­son run­ning the Ner­ka, I debat­ed my options: would I con­tin­ue crew­ing for my broth­er, or jump ship to work along­side my sweet­heart? My broth­er joked that I’d pick who­ev­er was the first to get a boat cat. He wasn’t wrong. Joel vol­un­teered, and my deci­sion was made. The promised boat cat was slow to...

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If There is Only Today

Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Hooked Favorites | 4 comments

Kevin, sweet­ie – Over 18 years antic­i­pat­ing your death, brac­ing for it, while near­ly believ­ing the leg­ends of your immor­tal­i­ty. Want­i­ng to believe them. Over 18 years prepar­ing for a loss that, turns out, can’t be pre­pared for at all. You looked like you were dying when we met. Decem­ber 7, 1999. T & K showed up at my alley win­dow & casu­al­ly report­ed your ill­ness. I was still new to the Ave, bare­ly 21, and didn’t yet under­stand the...

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How We Will Weather This

Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Commercial Fishing, Hooked Favorites | 19 comments

August: The May­day wakes me. The radio vol­ume is low, but it reach­es the fo’c’sle. A man, his voice an octave shy of hys­te­ria, yanks me from the bunk, pulling me upstairs. “There’s a boat one mile off Cape Adding­ton tak­ing on water! It’s a yel­low-and-black troller, wood, two peo­ple on board. He’s got three or four pumps going in the engine room and a guy bail­ing in the fish hold.” “Roger, Cap­tain, can you spell Cape Adding­ton?” “A – D – D… It’s on Noyes Island!” The...

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Gearing Up for the 20th Annual FisherPoets!

Posted by on February 19, 2017 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 3 comments

We’re less than a week away from Oregon’s annu­al Fish­er­Po­ets Gath­er­ing, friends! The high­light of our win­ter, Fish­er­Po­ets is always spe­cial — this one espe­cial­ly so, as we cel­e­brate the 20th year of com­mer­cial fish­ing women and men from across the coun­try (and one from Bel­gium!) unit­ing to share sto­ries, poems, and songs cel­e­brat­ing our indus­try. I usu­al­ly try to share some­thing about Fish­er­Po­ets here, want­i­ng to con­vey the mag­ic, want­i­ng to lure you...

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Making Change

Posted by on January 20, 2017 in Culture, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing | 10 comments

  I was four­teen years old when a man grabbed me by the pussy. We were in the check­out line of our Pacif­ic North­west town’s Pay­less drug­store. It was ear­ly evening, one week before Valentine’s Day, and I was buy­ing a cas­sette tape as a gift for my best friend. (The Thel­ma & Louise sound­track. Seri­ous­ly.) My par­ents were wait­ing in the car. I’d stepped up to the cashier when a hand squeezed my ass. I was not raised to fight for myself or oth­ers. My fam­i­ly...

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What’s Happening With Your Book?” About that…

Posted by on November 2, 2016 in Reading & Writing | 50 comments

Twelve years ago I went fish­ing to save my life. I begged a six-week sab­bat­i­cal from the non-prof­it where I ran a din­ner pro­gram and trolled alleys for young peo­ple in cri­sis, ask­ing for a week at sea for every year I’d spent on land. My child­hood best friend, Mar­lin, need­ed a deck­hand. I need­ed to know if I still exist­ed out­side city shad­ows.   Fishing’s famil­iar demands soothed me. The phys­i­cal­i­ty of the work pulled me back into my body, while...

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Coming Up: 19th Annual FisherPoets Gathering!

Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Commercial Fishing, Culture, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 3 comments

It’s almost time, friends! Oregon’s nine­teenth annu­al Fish­er­Po­ets Gath­er­ing is less than two weeks away, with sto­ry­tellers, musi­cians, and poets ready­ing to flood Asto­ria this Feb­ru­ary 26 – 28. It’s an immer­sion into the authen­tic, cap­tains and crew of diverse fish­eries and eras reflect­ing on the sin­gle moments and entire careers that have both nour­ished and devoured us. It’s an exer­cise in express­ing what has often seemed beyond expres­sion, and the belief that the effort...

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A Voice Lost, then Found

Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 10 comments

  On Decem­ber 15th, six hours after sub­mit­ting Hooked’s final revi­sion, I lost my voice. Lit­er­al­ly. All these years a devot­ed dis­ci­ple of the “tell your sto­ry” gospel, and, upon sur­ren­der­ing that sto­ry for my editor’s review, I couldn’t man­age a rasp of a whis­per. (Dear Uni­verse, must you be so heavy-hand­ed in your metaphors?)   I won’t lie: the six weeks lead­ing up to that dead­line were rough, rem­i­nis­cent of the final push to get through the...

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The “Me” Within “We”: Soliciting Stories

Posted by on October 19, 2015 in Culture, Hooked Favorites, Reading & Writing, Women in Fishing | 14 comments

Last June, my editor’s response to Draft #2 arrived on our doorstep just as we were prepar­ing to head north. If there can be a good time or place to face the fact that your book needs major revi­sions, I found mine in the Nerka’s pilot seat, alone on my wheel watch­es while Joel slept, the promise of Alas­ka ahead. My man­u­script was heavy in my lap as, removed from the world with­in this pock­et of sus­pend­ed time, I read it from begin­ning to end. All 323 pages, many of the mar­gins dark with pen­ciled...

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On Missing the Boat, Speaking for Salmon

Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Alaska, Commercial Fishing, Environment, Sustainability | 3 comments

Joel and I went to a movie the oth­er night. We final­ly saw The Breach, an award-win­ning film I’ve been anx­ious to see since its 2014 release. Described as a love sto­ry for wild salmon, it’s a love sto­ry in all the truest ways – risk, betray­al, loss, resolve, hope. It took my breath away.   (You can watch The Breach your­self here. Please do. Please.)   After the lights came up, direc­tor Mark Titus joined com­mer­cial fish­er­men Melanie Brown and Marsh Skeele, Anchor­age chef Rob...

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