Showtime

After months of boat maintenance and haulout work and sanding and painting, the Eden Lake is ready for another season of salmon trolling in northern BC. It’s a good boat, well built in 1976 by the late Harald Christensen in Queen Charlotte City, BC.

It takes a lot of work to keep a wooden troller in good shape.This year, like every other, the Captain has the Eden Lake sparkling clean, safe, and seaworthy.

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Here is what the back of the boat should look like during a good fishing day, with the checkers full of spring salmon.

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For those who don’t know the difference between a trawler and a troller, a trawler drags a net near the bottom while a troller fishes individual hooks and lines — two very different kinds of fishing.

 

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The Captain is getting ready to untie the lines and leave Comox Harbour. That’s the very early morning sun you see on the side of the boat. The best traveling time today will be in the morning, before any breezes start up later in the day.

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In the old days, communication systems were not as easily available between the Captain and the fishwife left at home. A call from town when he came in to sell his fish might have happened once a week to ten days. Now, with satellite phones, the communication is much better.

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There he goes, leaving Comox  Harbour.

It will take the Captain a good six days of running to get up to Prince Rupert and another day to cross to the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), but often it takes a bit longer because the weather is not perfect every day and sometimes you just have to wait.

I feel a bit at a loss for a few days until I get used to the idea that it will be late August before he comes home, but the Captain always reminds me, “I’m only a phone call away.”

31 thoughts on “Showtime

  1. I’m one who didn’t know the difference between trawler and troller. I live in the land of trawlers, of course: trawl nets and trawl doors and shrimpers whose approach is quite different. But what a wonderful boat you have — and how good it is that you have much better communication, too. No need for the widow’s walk atop the house, athough I’m sure some of the emotions can be the same from time to time during the season.

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    • I sure do have to “get my head around it” or I’d go crazy with worry. I have to believe he knows what he’s doing, that he won’t take more risk than the job already comes with, and that he’ll be very lucky and come home safely.

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    • Thanks, Terry. He’s always wishing he had a fibreglass boat and could just hose it off, turn the key, and go fishing, but he loves that boat, even though he curses it because he’s a slave to its maintenance.

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  2. Eden Lake is such a beautiful boat. One can see that it is very well taken care of and loved. Safe travels, Captain! Lovely photos, Anneli!

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    • Thank you, Sonja. He slaved over it all winter and spring, grumbling a lot, but taking care of every little thing. He loves that boat so I hope it loves him back and keeps him safe and the checkers full.

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  3. Many, many angler’s moons ago I worked for two summers in a salmon cannery in Alitak, Alaska on the southern tip of Kodiak Island. We arrived by tiny sea plane which, surprisingly, didn’t scare me as much as big jets. The pilots would swoop down right on top of Kodiak bears running in the hills below. I worked in the office so had it much softer than those in the cannery or the hardy fishermen out on the boats, but it was a very interesting experience indeed. They fished for Kings there (which they called Chinook) and Silvers (Coho), but the biggest abundance was Reds (Sockeye). On the rare day off, the office crew would go out and catch King and Dungeness crab and eat till we were stuffed! Your post brought back many memories!

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    • Thanks for sharing that, Juanita. You’ve reminded me that springs are also called Chinook, besides Tyee and King. So many names for each fish type! Those must have been exciting summers, working in Alaska. When we lived in the Charlottes, on clear days we could see the mountains of Alaska.

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  4. Yes, be sure that the Eden Lake loves Gary as much as he is loving it. I wish the Captain a successful season and to you a very happy summer with the rest of the clan. The Eden Lake is indeed a very beautiful boat.

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  5. Interesting! Since I’m fairly new to this blog, I didn’t know he works that way … so that he’s away from home that long. Good think you’ve communication, though. The worrying gets lessened, a bit, I assume.

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  6. Yes, it really is tough. The first years were the hardest. But now we each do our bit and it works out. I look after the dogs and home and the Captain does what he has to do. We have common goals and we have our own separate mini-goals.We have our holiday time together in the fall and all winter and spring together.

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  7. I headed backwards and found out I missed saying, “Bon Voyage to the Captain!” I suppose better late than never! I wish him fair, calm days, plenty of fish (salmon) and no sea lions skulking around the beautiful boat. I was in awe of the post where you had the boat up and the mechanic side of the Captain was fixing it up for the season. 🙂
    Beautiful photographs of the harbour, Anneli.

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