THE MILITARY MARK
So ya wanna hear a Sea Story eh...I have a few. No, actually I have a lot...tones of them really. I can tell you this... I worked with some very special people, threw tome very extremes times! That few would believe today. There is the truth behind most 'Sea Story's I can confirm that Good and Bad, It's a lifestyle, and a job built on dreams, and I would do it all over again, maybe with a little more common sense, and respect for it, wish I had been smart from the get-go and saved and invested wisely but who does that in their teens and early 20's. Everyone who knew me then had a good time, yes there is a lot to be said about growing up fast, the best advice I can give any young people out there is where do you want to be in 10 years, and how are you going to get there! because 10 years goes by real fast.
My business, or what I have done to make a living was as a commercial fisherman, I have Fished for Albacore Tuna, King, and Bairdi Crab, Opilio, and Hair-Crab, and Blue Crab, I fished Cod, Pollock and Pacific Whiting over some 43 plus years, I worked on the F/V GEM, a 54' Dragger turned Tuna Troller, as a kid, and then my first job in Alaska, on the F/V Mar/Gun for a short spell, and then the Fury boats the F/v Nordic Fury, but mostly the Pacific Fury, which I eventually became a Captain, and share-holders in vireos Fishing Vessels. And other than nearly killing me several times, it also saved my life...several times, it turned out alright, and I've been lucky enough to retire now. It's not for all of us, but it definitely is for some of us, for waking up at the job-was the best way that I made it to work....but seriously- I don't know what else I would have doe-it was exciting, paid well, better perhaps 25 years ago, and now is as safe as its ever been.....I have not forgotten all the lost lads. It's a way of life, and there are a million ways to live it. Live Right, Live Free, Work Hard, so you can live easier when you get old.
It's been said the difference between a Sea Story and a fairy Tail, it that the Sea story starts off with "This ain't no bullshit".
I have had the honor, to fish with and alongside of some of the greatest people in the world, there are a lot of tough nuts, but some of the best guys to work with too, we watched out after each other, I miss it. The industry was made from had charging, determined Men but also drew in some individuals that, lets say-just don't fit into the city life, and the daily grind of land life, in the sea- ya only have to deal with so-many individuals, and you learn to watch each other back- and work with each other- we all have our idiosyncrasies, and guys that had said, a bad tour in the service,, in the military, some outcasts, and some on the run, some of us didn't like the crowds of the city, the drive to work, and don't do well out there, it is a tight nit community, I knew as a very young age I wanted to work on the water, I wanted to measure up to my Dad and my brother, at one point all of us were on the same boat...I may be the last of a generation of fisherman- but there was like 4 in my family. God bless them, and all on the water making a living.
We used to use Instamatic cameras, and polaroid's, had a nice camera till I got hit by a big wave, froze it up solid! I had loads of pictures, but they for the most part have unfortunately disappeared for the most part-some are in albums all rolled up and yellow....but we don't have time to share all that with you either I suppose.
This is a picture from the news, the King of Norway was down on the docks, visiting the shipyard we were at, was great as the owners had Norwegian heritage. So even though we were all cut up and rusty! it got the once over and flags out!
The thing about Fishing is ya gotta love the action, constant, and every day, Wet and cold, you need to be determinant I suppose to stay with it, and it's not an old man's profession...I got 40 some years in...and would have stayed longer if I could have, were still involved in the industry. Here some pictures from when I was running the 'PF', the Boats been around since 1974, and I was on her from the start- got on never left till I was retired, it's a hard thing to walk away from a place that was many time my home, the place I spent most of my time when I had gotten married and had the kids. It was a good life, and the payoff has been good- but there was a lot of time out there. I am 4th generation fisherman / or sailor.
I worked on the Pacific fury for most of my career, as a deckhand, a cook, and engineer ( assistant engineer forever too) and eventfully the Captain, King & Tanner, Etc. Crab Fishing - Then when a Captian left, I was the only one available to take over....in a snow storm., thank God! that's how I got in the driver's seat! (L) This is how she looked like a full-time crabber, (R)This shot was sorta early on with me, we called it "The Dark Fury', Full of fuel, and just made a delivery at sea in bumpy weather, a pretty wet situation. We were doing 'Off-Shore Trawling' while it changed from foreign fleet deliveries to American mother ship operations. The Dark Blue did not work well with us, it just wasn't right, and soon she became the sky blue again, like the rest of the fury group.
These pictures were taken just before I left the sea, it was hard for me to leave it behind, I've retired, but It will always be a part of me.
In the early 1970s, working for Captain-Marv, there was maybe 3-4 really tight crews, I first went up in 1973 or 4, worked in the Summers,(After I got out of High School) doing the Crab Fishing, well before the boat was converted into a trawler, sending me in a spin, and I went to Canada to learn how to build and fix Palacic Trawl "Nets". The F/V Pacific Fury had been one of the early High-liners up there in Alaska, and there were 3-4 years there the boat put in near 2 million pounds, working the hell out of the boat, and us you could say. It was the heydays-for the vessel, we didn't know it- a lot of money was made, but times have changed, for good and bad, there will always be those who hate it, others love it, life goes on .
In the pictures, are my uncle, Joe who gave me his Air Force uniform, and My Brother. This is about 1975-6 maybe just before I got on Full time.
This is how she looks, still going strong, some 46 years after her Christening, and 6 years after I got off or so. The 'FURY BOYS' are known far and wide, with sometimes a checkered past, but I'm so proud of all the guys I worked with, as close as a crew can get, hats off to you crewmates you made the experience unforgettable, we went threw stuff I can't even write it all down, and the fellows I worked alongside as well, for the most part, the Bering Sea, and Pacific Coastal Fishermen are all professionals, and serious sailors, many moved on to other marine jobs, on cargo vessels, any number of fishing trades, and Harbor Pilots, etc., most have been successful.