Who lied to man, telling him that unless he performs in such a way that he’s accepted by others, he’s not good enough? Who silenced his roar? Mountains. Forests. Lakes. Rushing streams. Sunrise. Sunset. Wild animals. Night skies filled with an endless number of brilliant stars, shooting stars, planets, m
About the time we were seriously contemplating cutting the fishing line, we began to see a dark, looming figure begin to emerge from underneath the boat. We pushed the Zodiac into the surf, fired up the motor, angled the nose into the oncoming waves, and skipped the motorized raft toward the smoking volcano, some 26 miles straight across the frigid, moving waters of Cook Inlet.
My ears went completely silent as if I’d sunk to the bottom of the deep end in a ten-foot swimming pool. The 9MM pistol we were using to shoot halibut after getting them along-side the boat discharged less than two feet from my head, and just missed puncturing the side of the inflatable Zodiac raft we were fishing in by less than one inch around!
In 1985, I was back in Alaska for my second time. I was working on a commercial fishing boat out of Bristol Bay using gill nets to catch salmon. Gill nets are designed so that when the fish swims into its webbing, its head gets lodged and it can’t pull out. When we’d pull the gill nets over the side, we would use something called a fish pick that resembled a curved ice pick to pull the net from around their gills.
One of my favorite things to do is digging for Razor Clams in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Cook Inlet was named for none other than legendary explorer, Captain Cook, who happened along this way while looking for the Northwest Passage in 1778. While searching for the elusive passage, something that was never there to begin with, some of Captain Cook’s crew were nearly swamped and drowned by the extreme tidal change in an offshoot of the inlet.
The three of us loaded the gear, packed the couple hundred pounds of caribou meat into the rear of the plane, and taxied across the tundra. As the pilot turned the plane to fly into the wind for takeoff, he suddenly decelerated and said; “Boys, we’ve got too much weight in the plane. We need a plan B.”