Weather rules. It dominates our conversations, our decisions, our time apart (or together), our earning ability & it can be what determines our fate….although I’m pretty good at remaining in denial in that area.
When Chris is home from fishing there is a nonstop searching of weather websites and updates. When he’s offshore, our phone calls begin with weather updates…in case we lose the sat phone connection. Every thing is paced by weather windows. We got married in February. You know… since it was Halibut season and the weather would likely be BAD ENOUGH that he’d be able to take a day off. Not kidding.
The guys have been making offshore trips these past several weeks. So, after spending 5 or 7 days and nights at a time, getting tossed around at sea and working their collective brains out, then coming in to unload the catch and clean up the resulting disaster ~ the guys move right into the process of going back to work. So. Not. Kidding.
Occasionally, the weather looks like they may have 1 or possibly 2 days ‘at home’. Except that even if that is the case, they aren’t ‘at home’. See, that’s a little phrase we use to talk ourselves into believing there will be some sort of break. And very rarely there is. ‘At home’ actually means fixing gear and getting boat parts, selling fish, cleaning up lots of icky fish stuff, meeting regulatory paperwork requirements, ordering yet another hydraulic whatever you call it that costs wayyyy too much money. When we do think we’ll have a little break because it’s simply too windy to fish, it’s obviously a very welcome thing. I don’t care what time of day or night it is… I start calling my list of babysitters who are great at last second requests. Chris will run home to hug all the kids, grab a quick shower and we try to squeeze in ‘date time’. We’ve learned to get creative. Our preference of course is a nice day at a Spa, a lovely meal out maybe even a movie. It’s a rare thing ~ but we do it up big since we spend so much time apart. And yes, we make US time a priority…even if somtimes we have to short some time with the kids…weird sounding I know. But, we’ve learned in this lifestyle it’s kind of like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first in a plane crash. And yes, I can be a bit dramatic to make my point. But seriously, our date time is NEEDED.
I was quite certain that yesteday was ‘date time’ So certain that I had the sitter planned, and even did up my hair, put on my good ‘ladies things’ and shaved my legs. I was that certain. And then, the flippity-flappin weather changed. So, I did what any fisherman’s wife would do. I met my husband at Sam’s Club. Not exactly the Ojai Valley Inn ~ but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. So after spending the whole day moving his gear around, getting 2 tons of ice on board (yes, they SHOVEL all that ice onto the boat – gah, can you imagine?), fueling up (dear. Lord. the. fuel. bill.), loading up the now clean slickers & gloves, blankets and clothing, (yes, my washer has some seriously nasty residue) Chris & I got to spend an hour together buying galley supplies (ie: groceries) at Sams Club. That way he could catch this little weather window….to go back to work. Hey, I’ll take an hour where I can get it.
Luckily, I was inducted into all of this nonsense early on….when the boat was still shiny, so to speak. 😉 Once, I drove in the middle of the night to Morro Bay, grabbed stinky fish laundry off the boat, went to Vons sometime around dawn with Chris, watched him fuel up at the dock, counted fish weights as they unloaded, visited a bit and then drove home. And you know what, that was actually a really nice date…perfect really. We’d only just gotten married. I remember it so well because just as I got there I stood watching Chris manuevering the Linde into Morro Bay Harbor and since he had a HUGE load of Swordfish on board he was super happy. That memory of his big, happy smile as he was up on the flybridge steering the Linde in is so sweet. He saw me standing there and waved….and promptly hit the boat in the slip next to him. 😉 It didn’t do any damage….but I secretly liked it. His eyes were on me. His thoughts were on me. He bumped that boat, corrected his steering, and looked back up at me and smiled again. I didn’t know it then, but that particular date would be the beginning of our family. (Way TMI I’m sure) Now, that is a good date in my book. No weather report can really mess that up.