It looks like this processing season will be much longer than we were thinking. Management just told us that we plan to be out for the entirety of our contract (That nearly never happens.), which is May 31. We will process cod until about the end of the April, then we’ll sail up across the Bering Sea to Togiak to process herring for a few weeks before we sail back to Seattle.
Mind you, that is all subject to change. Everything on this ship is. Plans are just about as flexible as the water we float on. It’s the nature – and I suppose the advantage – of working on a ship. Since we’re mobile, we can follow the fish and change plans and locations quickly.
At the present, the fishing has dropped off because of weather, but it’s supposed to pick up and go back into full swing soon. That means those of us who still want to get some hours in clean the factory over and over again. Today I stuffed hairnets into little bags for nine hours. It seems pointless, but to me it’s more pointless to sit around the ship for days, like most of everyone else, and simply wait for fish.