Dealing with Disappointment

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.

Some welding going down in the shipyard

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.

here she is, sitting high and dry in the shipyard

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?

8 thoughts on “Dealing with Disappointment

  1. Don’t worry, I will still be documenting the voyage from Alabama to Washington on this blog, but from land. Zed will be required to take lots of pictures, especially going through the Panama Canal.

  2. Robin, I loved this post. Not because of the change of plans and resulting disappointment (of course) but because you so perfectly and gracefully described the nature of our lives as fishing families. It can really often be about dealing with disappointment. Sometimes it seems like it’s all about waiting, and waiting, then delay, and more delay…then disappointment. Fortunately, there is always a new month, a new season, a new something around the next bend. Beautifully written and conveyed!

    • Thanks so much Jen,
      I really am trying to stay focused on all the positives in our lives right now. I truly am excited about owning our own boat, and I think we have a wonderful opportunity in front of us.
      (Please, let it be a good crab season!!!!!!!!)
      Thanks again,

    • Thanks Dari,
      I hope you and Chloe and Paul are enjoying your Christmas vacation and your time together. We are going to be split up this Christmas for the first time because Zed is down South, but we will be thinking of you all and wishing you a merry Christmas!
      Love you,

  3. I’ve read this back from your latest post. It’s good to know how you got your new boat coasting the seas. Disappointment is an inevitable par of our lives. You can’t always be lucky. And when your heart is broken, you can’t always be happy. But you can be brave. You can embrace hope like an old friend … the one who lied, the one you forgave. Keep dreaming.

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