Well, after much suspense building and hyping of our upcoming trip through the Panama Canal, it now looks like myself and the kids will not be joining Zed on the journey. The boat is taking longer than we expected to make the switch from shrimper to crabber and we are running out of time until the dungeness crab season starts on the Washington coast. The safe route we were planning on taking with the kids through the Gulf of Mexico would add an extra week onto the travels, and we can’t afford an extra week right now. So to play it safe I will be staying home with the kids while Zed brings the boat around to the West coast.
I was looking forward to the adventure, so I’m kind of bummed out about our change of plans. But if there is one thing I’ve learned being a fisherman’s wife, it’s the importance of being adaptable and flexible. Commercial fishing is a very unpredictable industry. Everything in fishing is a gamble, so you must be prepared to change your plans constantly and deal with ups and downs. When Zed leaves on the fishing boat we don’t know when we will see each other again, how much money he will make, or if he will come back with all his fingers intact. I can’t count the number of times we have had to cancel vacations and return tickets. Sometimes this is the result of a change in the fishing schedule, or sometimes a bad season means we don’t have the funds to carry out our plans. If ever we make a plan, chances are we will have to change it… several times.
For example, when we bought our fishing boat last month, we were planning on all the improvements and conversions on the boat to take a couple weeks. Well, problems with the shipyard we started at required that we move the boat to another shipyard and that set us back a whole week. Lost paperwork, slow offices, ordering parts, fiberglass – all these unforeseen setbacks have cost us valuable time.
Our change of plan also means that, in addition to the weeks that Zed has spent in Alabama working on the boat, I will have another month on my own until he gets back here. And Zed will spend a month at sea, away from his family, only to return and immediately start crabbing. We are all making huge sacrifices right now, all on the hope that we will have a good crab season and pay back some of this money we are borrowing! I guess you can’t get ahead in life without taking some risks, right?