It was raining sideways when I arrived in Ktn yesterday. Made me feel right at home. Made for an invigorating hike to the ferry terminal. I was ready for it, though. The ferry ride across Clarence was about as calm as I've experienced. Gotta love those greyscale days with just some drip and 2 foot seas.
Today EC Phillips put out a really nice spread for us for lunch. It's really nice to reconnect with everyone in the fleet. The haven't "rearranged the furniture" much in Craig. Everything in town and on the boat is pretty much as we left it. It feels like I never left, except that I missed a pretty tough winter, and the kids up here sure have grown a lot!
I'm still "on the beach" in California. I don't mean that literally. "On the beach" is just the term a lot of fishermen use to describe being ashore or on land. In fact, I'm feeling pretty beached out right now. I've spent most of today in bed, trying to get rid of cold. Whose bright idea was it for me to catch a cold right before leaving for king season in Southeast Alaska?! I can't even blame my high school kids for this one. School's been out for over week! In any case, I'm doing everything I can to try to get this thing under control by 4:00 am Wednesday, when I have to leave to catch my flights and ferries. It's a long day, even user the most ideal circumstances. Right now I feel like I've been body-slammed. Usually I'm energetically getting ready to go this time of June. Right now, I'm just dragging my carcass. I HAVE to get better by Wednesday. We have an ice appointment on Friday or Saturday. and opening day is next Sunday. If only we lived closer to Tenakee!
On the upside, Shawn was able to get our friend Dave off the beach over the last couple of days, during the nice weather they've had up there. Dave's time in Southeast is pretty short. He sure does a lot to help in the short time he's there, and we really appreciate it. Shawn will be sorry to see him head back home to Virginia on Monday. Another reason I need to get rid of this cold pronto!
Today I finished getting my classroom in order and checking out for the summer. I found myself reluctant to actually "check out" with my friends in the school office. What a luxury it is to not have to pack everything into boxes for a move to a new school or a new classroom!
Now that I have some spare time, I've been going to the gym every day. But I feel exhausted instead of energized afterwards. Right now it feels strange to not have 60-70 hours of school work to do every week. I've been feeling oddly tired and even a little out of sorts this week. I know I'll get over it soon, probably as soon as I board the ferry to Hollis.
Happy Solstice, everyone! Someday I'll make it for the big celebration in Port Protection.
Finally, a blog and website all in one place. This gives me fewer online things to keep track of, in theory anyway. This week I've been closing my first school year with Santa Cruz High School, and my "20-somethingth" year in public education. I really like where I've landed. Great people and memorable events! I'm about as lucky as it gets, when it comes to teaching opportunities and experiences. I'm still taking care of numerous odds and ends, classroom cleanup, etc. I'm also still "processing" the whole experience of returning to a regular classroom again, after ten years of working in alternative education. Right now, I'm hoping to stay put at SCHS for awhile. It's both exhilarating and humbling to do the new teacher thing AGAIN, while also turning 50 years old.
And now on to beginning the summer of 2012. This will be the 10th summer that we spend in Southeast Alaska. It all started with the 22-foot C-Dory called "Tonie-O," making its first trip from Port Townsend to Petersburg, Alaska. It's a trip that one would either love or hate. For us, it has been addicting. Since 2002, we've spent each summer traveling throughout Southeast Alaska. One thing led to another, and we subsequently bought an 8-meter Allweather boat (based on a double-ended Norwegian lifeboat design), designed by Homer Hughes. Homer is a retired high school shop teacher and is really an innovator with these boats. He has only built 33 of them. We named our boat "Itsuro" in memory of our dear friend and mentor, John Itsuro Kitsuse. We have since acquired our limited entry hand-troll salmon permit. Fishing for salmon in Southeast Alaska has since become our summer job and passion.
We've been to many places in Southeast, from Ketchikan to Skagway to Glacier Bay, to Sitka, and many places in between. In the past few years we've become quite attached to Prince of Wales Island and its communities of Port Protection, Craig, Klawock and Hydaburg. We love going to all the other places on the island and in Southeast, too!
Shawn works at Cabrillo College and at San José State University. His schedule is a little different from mine, so he is already up in Craig and Klawock with our friend David Spencer. They are both working on getting "Itsuro" ready for the summer salmon season. This means that most of the pre-season dirty work will be done by the time I get up there. Thanks to Dave, I have not had to do bottom paint for at least the last four years. More good luck on my end!
Today the boat was launched and is now afloat again. This seems like a good time to start the blog for the 2012 season. Once the salmon season is under way, I probably won't post as often, as I will be busy on the water.
A few things I'm passionate about: