Enough About Hooked… How are YOU?

29 09 2012

One hundred forty-nine.

That’s how many hours Cap’n J and I spent at the dock over the last 47 days of our season. As if finally grasping the fundamental trick to making a living fishing – keeping your hooks in the water – we pushed ourselves to make the quickest of turnarounds this year.

As fishermen, this hard-charging approach served us well.  As a writer, it wasn’t so good for me.

Midway through one of our last trips, I stood in the cockpit wiping sea lice from a coho’s supple body, my thoughts drifting like kelp torn free of the sea floor. I wondered how Jen Pickett’s gillnet season had gone, and if fall storms would trap her in Cordova. What was going on for all of the Red Wheelbarrow Writers? How was Emily holding up, dealing with her mom’s Alzheimer’s? What beautiful bit of writing was I missing from Sifting the Grain, and what were Lisa W. Rosenberg’s latest observations on body image and identity?

Standing in the place that makes me feel most in touch with myself and my surroundings, I suddenly realized how removed I’d become from others.

I write not only out of a desire to communicate, but to connect. To engage in meaningful conversations and forge relationships. But all of Hooked’s summer posts focused on how things were on the Nerka, published in a frenzied scramble as we left town. (True story. More than once I clicked “publish” as the dock lines were cut, crossing my fingers it would post before we lost the harbor’s tenuous internet.)

Those 149 hours ashore didn’t include opportunities to respond to your comments, visit your blogs, celebrate your recent successes or wish you the best in hardships. Instead of the reciprocal conversation that’s the great beauty of blogging, I’m afraid Hooked has veered dangerously close to becoming That Guy – the one loudly holding court at a party, dominating all conversation with his own self-absorbed monologues. No one enjoys getting stuck with that guy. I definitely don’t want Hooked to be that guy.

So, enough about Hooked. How are you? What’s your latest triumph or challenge? Fellow bloggers, have you written a favorite post recently that you’d be willing to link to here? Fisherfolks, how did the season treat you?  What are you doing next?

I’ve missed knowing how you’re doing, buddies.

(Psstt…  Jen Karuza Schile, don’t you have a new e-book to share? Proud of you for creating a great resource for all of the shore-side heroes holding fishing families together! And Robin Blue, congrats on National Fisherman’s cover story on your family making the transition from crew to captain! Nick Rahaim, great Pacific Fishing article on Xtra Tuf’s shoddy sell-out to China – what are you working on next?)

Also, Hooked gained some additional readers recently. Welcome, new friends, and please say hello if you’re so inclined. I’m glad you’re here.




16 responses

29 09 2012

Tele, you’re one of the most interactive blog hosts I know! Ending posts with a question, and responding to commenters. These are things I never thought to do before I read your blog. So I guess what I’m saying is, Rhymes with Safari is That Guy.

I’m glad you’re back! I think your readers and your face-to-face friends understand that your attention is divided for half the year. Lucky for us, the quality of the other half of the year is strong enough to keep us connected.

30 09 2012

Nope, sweetie, not so – Rhymes with Safari makes me laugh way too much to the That Guy! And thanks, but I can’t take credit for the concluding questions – totally stole that one from Cami. 🙂

For everyone else out here (particularly the dog lovers among you), do check out Kari’s blog at http://rhymeswithsafari.com/

29 09 2012

You are so sweet, Tele, to mention my blog. You haven’t missed much. I too have been a bit absent of late, although not battling wind and waves and the challenges of the sea and its bounty as you have.

I did the math. Put together, that’s 6 days ashore out of 47, so clearly no apologies needed! I loved and looked forward to each and every one of your posts, and I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating the way your writing makes me able to close my eyes and imagine myself right up there on the deck with you, even though in reality that would never ever happen since I’m not one for cold climes and I tend to get a bit seasick! Welcome back!

30 09 2012

I think mutual welcome back wishes are due! Hope you’ve been having a lovely hibernation hiatus, friend.

29 09 2012

Thanks Tele! I’m happy to hear you are back in town and I’m looking forward to actually meeting you in person sometime. Have fun getting settled back in and adjusting to the slower speed of things.

1 10 2012

You’re most welcome, Robin. I’ve been meaning to send you a note: when Joel and I got off the boat last week and were on our very first drive home, I was staring out the car window, taking it all in, when I saw the Robin Blue! I have to admit that I squealed. She’s even more beautiful in person!

30 09 2012

You’re a great writer, and I’m glad that the trolling fleet has such a well rounded person writing about life as a troller. It was a terrible season, reading your posts made me feel a bit better that we werent alone. My captain and I are best freinds and we struck out by ourselves this year, building our boat back from scratch. Thank you again for your words

1 10 2012

Andrew, I’m so glad that you commented! Thanks for your kindness; I’m always grateful to hear from fellow fishermen. Bummer on the season, but how lucky that you’ve got a good relationship with your captain. That really makes all the difference – I worked on some boats where I barely made enough to cover my crew license, but had such a good time that it was worth it, and others where the money was good but the company was too high of a cost. Glad to hear that you’ve got a good one!

Where do you fish out of? Let me know if we’ll cross paths on the dock, and best wishes for your off-season.

30 09 2012
Joanne Rideout

Hi Tele, I’m one of those new blog readers. I love reading your posts, such a slice of life in a beautiful and challenging part of the world. I’m in Astoria, Oregon, home of the Fisher Poets Gathering. I have a podcast and radio show called The Ship Report, (www.shipreport.net) and recently I talked about your “guy in the fish cooler” post after I saw it on facebook. I read a little of your blog on the air and posted a link to it, Got lots of positive responses from listeners. Those of us who love maritime stories are glad to be connected to you! – Joanne

1 10 2012

Joanne! Hello!

Thanks so much for introducing yourself; I’d just checked out The Ship Report this weekend and meant to send you a note. GREAT site, stories and photos! (Especially like your smiling face inside the submersible.) Thank you for sharing the fish tote story; in what seemed like inevitable tragedy, I’m glad that a broader audience can join in the celebrating.

I sure had an amazing time in your town last February. It’d be lovely to meet you… Maybe we can cross paths at this year’s FPG!

Cheers –

30 09 2012

Tele, I am more and more appreciating your split year in my own landlubber life although mine is split during each day rather than by month. I love reading your blog and aspire to have mine be as well written and as frequently updated. – Adrienne

1 10 2012

Adrienne, I have huge respect/awe for how you manage your split days, and I love that goats have been your social work burn-out remedy. I’m so glad we’re still in contact!

(For everyone else: go meet Adrienne’s unbelievably adorable herd of Amazin’ Grazers at http://grazingwithgoats.wordpress.com/. Between the photos and Adrienne’s descriptions, I melted.)

1 10 2012

Welcome back to land, Tele. Thanks for taking us along on another season at sea with you, Cap’n J and the mighty Bear!

4 10 2012

Many thanks, Patricia! However, I feel like you very deftly side-stepped some questions here… 🙂

Folks, Patricia is the author of the novel, The Bridge Club, and a remarkably community-minded, inclusive blogger. She’s currently at work on her next novel, yet still manages to post & tweet regularly, generously promoting other writers and important causes like National Breast Cancer Month. You can follow her blog at http://patriciasands.wordpress.com/.

9 10 2012
Lisa W. Rosenberg

Hi again Tele. And a huge belated thank you for this mention. Having two overwhelming months in terms of committments and have been denying myself the small pleasures. I consider your beautiful blog one of these. Now I see how much I’ve been missing! Glad to be back. I’ve missed you!

And, p.s. I could never see you as “that guy!”

9 10 2012

Hi Tele,
I’m also a new reader. Found your blog through an ADN article about the fisherman rescued in a fish tote. A commenter gave a link to your account of the rescue. I’m rather new at blogging and it has been exciting to find blogs by other women fishermen in Alaska. ~ Molly

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