We Go to the Ocean to Work

Once upon a time, “going to the ocean” meant swimming, beach combing, laying in the sun, reading, and generally just being lazy.  While those days aren’t completely lost forever, more often than not – now that I’m married to a fisherman – “going to the ocean” really means going to work.  This last weekend was one of these times.

Our fishing boat has just finished the 2013 crab season and she needed a little scrubbing in preparation for the next few months of sitting idle.  Trust me, you don’t want bait chunks rotting in bait bags or crab juice fermenting in the fish hold for too long!  The boat is currently residing in Westport, Washington (which is also where she fishes out of) but we live in Bellingham, which is a four or five hour drive away.  We could have just sent Zed down to work all weekend by himself, but why not make it a family trip instead?  Zed is soon headed up to Alaska for the summer, so we need to fit in as much family time as possible now.

So Thursday after school we loaded up the truck with kids, dogs, and supplies and hit the road!  We didn’t pull into the Westport Marina until after 11pm, but the kids were still awake and so excited to climb into their own bunks.  Sleeping on a boat is kind of like camping, but with all the conveniences of home.  Kind of like a floating RV, I suppose.

Walking down the ramp to our boat

Walking down the ramp to our boat

We spent the next three days scrubbing.  Scrubbing garbage cans, scrubbing the dump box, scrubbing the deck, scrubbing bait jars.  I got the lucky job of climbing down into the fish hold and scrubbing out old crab gunk (since it was Father’s Day, I accepted the job readily).

Hard at work on the F/V Robin Blue

Hard at work on the F/V Robin Blue

And for the first time ever, we had both boys working with us, getting stuff done, and not complaining!  For a four year old and a six year old this is a major accomplishment.

scrubbing the deck

scrubbing the deck

I even got a video of the work party in action, complete with a sweet soundtrack.

We made sure to keep our little “vacation” fun by taking ice cream breaks, walks on the beach, and exploring the town.

at the top of the watchtower, overlooking the marina

at the top of the watchtower, overlooking the marina

It might not have been the most relaxing weekend vacation we’ve ever taken, but we got to spend it as a family.  It felt good to have all four of us working together as a team and actually being productive!  Our boys had a great attitude the whole time, and I can see that they will one day be hardworking men (deckhands?).  I’m a proud mama!


12 thoughts on “We Go to the Ocean to Work

  1. Robin, wish I knew you were so close! Please let me know when you are coming through Oly next to work and Ill bring dinner to you in Westport or youre welcome to sleep over here. There is a great new childrens museum in Oly that the kids would LOVE. And Id love a visit.


  2. Robin you are the best wife & mother EVER! How lucky is my son to have you for the the mother of his children & his wife. God Bless You! Zed was always (well almost always) a good kid, & I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see what good life he has made with you. I know it has been full of hard work & long separations, but the two of you have always made the best of it. What wonderful roll models you are for those boys, & what great foundations for their lives to come. I made me cry tears of happiness to read the ‘fishingblues’,& made me prouder than I could ever put into words. I love you all so much, & am saving up to come & see you this summer. Kiss the boys for me & tell them their Granny loves & misses them. I kiss their picture everyday. Let me know their sizes & what they want to be for Halloween, so I can start sewing. .Being so far away is hard & being able to do that little thing for them helps me to feel that I am part of their lives. I love & miss you all.

  3. I’ve long been fascinated by those who live off the sea. Appreciate you sharing the stories of your work and family. Many a rich blessing you’ve been given! Appreciate the good photography too!

  4. Hi Robin! I found your blog via Jen Schile’s blog. When I saw the first picture, I thought, “Hey, that’s OUR dock!” 🙂 We have the Miss Abby. As I read through you blog a bit, I was struck by our similar situations – not just as fisherman’s wives with young children, but also having bought boats of similar size at the same time right before that awful crab season (we do tuna too and it was awful the first year we had the boat too!). What a stressful first year that was! I talked to my husband Kevin on the phone last night about your blog and he was like, “Oh yeah, Zed and the Robin Blue…..” – all old news to him of course, but I was happy to have found a connection and now I can picture Zed’s face and your boat when he talks about them. 🙂

    • Hi Sara! I’m glad you found me! Although I have been neglecting my blog quite a bit this year… We have another baby on the way and I just haven’t been able to focus on writing. Anyway, things are getting pretty tense around here, preparing for the crab season and I assume your house is just as hectic. Do you live in Westport? Well, good luck to you this season! Keep in touch and maybe we’ll see you around the harbor!

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