So ya wanna hear a Sea Story eh....I have a few. No actually I have a lot...tones of them really. But we share and laugh at them we I see one of the other fisherman. But I can tell you this.... I worked with some very special people, threw tome very extremes times! That few would believe today. The there is truth behind most 'Sea Story's' I can confirm that, Good and Bad, It's a life style, and a job built on dreams, and I would do it all over again, maybe with a little more common since, and respect for it, wish I had been smart from the get-go and saved and invested wisely but who does that in their teens and early 20's.Evey one who knew me then had a good time, yes there is a lot to be said about growing up fast, best advice I can give any young people out there is-where do you want to be in 10 years, and how are you going to get there! because 10 years goes by real fast.
My business, or what I have done to make a living was as a commercial fisherman, I have Fished for Albacore Tuna, King, and Bairdi Crab, Opilio, and Hair-Crab, and Blue Crab, I fished Cod, Pollock and Pacific Whiting over the some 43 plus years, I worked on the F/V GEM, a 54' Dragger turned Tuna Troller, as a kid, and then my first job in Alaska, on the F/V Mar/Gun for a short spell, and than the Fury boats the F/v Nordic Fury, but mostly the Pacific Fury, which I eventually became a Captain, and share-holders in vireos Fishing Vessels. And other than nearly killing me several times, it also saved my life...several times, it turned out alright, and I've been lucky enough to retire now. Its not for all of us, but it definitely is for some of us, for waking up at the job-was the best way that I made it to work....but seriously- I don't know what else I would have doe-it was exciting, paid well, better perhaps 25 years ago, and now is as safe as its ever been.....I have not forgotten all the lost lads. It's a way of life, and there's a million was to live it. Live Right, Live Free, Work Hard, so you can live easier when you get old.
It's been said the difference between a Sea Story and a fairy Tail, it that the Sea story starts off with "This ain't no bullshit".
I have had the honor, to fish with and along side of some of the greatest people in the would, there are a lot of tough nuts, but some of the best guys to work with too, we watched out after each other, I miss it. The industry was made from had charging, determined Men but also drew in some individuals that, lets say-just don't fit in to the city life, and daily grind of land life, in the sea- ya only have to deal with so-many individuals, and you learn to watch each others back- and work with each other- we all have out idiosyncrasies, and guys that had say, a bad tour in the service,, in the military, some out casts, and some on the run, some of us didn't like the crowds of the city, the drive to work, and don't do well out there, it is a tight nit community, I knew as a very young age I wanted to work on the water, I wanted to measure up to my Dad and my brother, at one point all of us were on the same boat...I may be the last of a generation of fisherman- but there was like 4 in my family. God bless them, and all on the water making a living.
We used to use instamatic cameras, and polaroid's, had a nice camera till I got hit by a big wave, froze it up solid! I had loads of pictures, but they for the most part have unfortunately disappeared for the most part-some are in albums all rolled up and yellow....but we don't have time to share all that with you either I suppose.
This is a picture from the news, the King of Norway was down on the docks, visiting the shipyard we were at, was great as the owners had Norwegian heritage. So even though we were all cut up and rusty! it got the once over and flags out!
I worked on the Pacific fury for most of my career, as a deck hand, a cook, and engineer ( assistant engineer for ever too) and eventfully the Captain-when one was not available, thank God-that's how I got in the seat! This shot was sorta early on, when we called the boat the 'Dark Fury'....that did not work well with me, and soon she became the sky blue of the rest of the fury group.
These pictures were taken just before I left the sea behind, and retired, but I always loved it. Mark Stone.
In the early 70's we had 3-4 great crews, when we were a full time Crab Fishing boat-well before went made the boat into a trawler, the F/V Pacific Fury was one of the early High-liners there was 3-4 years there the boat put in near 2 million pounds, working the hell out of the boat, you could say it was the heyday-for the vessel, we didn't know it- but the better half of the profit went to the owners! no so much any more the boat takes near all of the money made, times changed.
This is how she looks not-still going strong, some 46 years after her Christening, and 6 years after I got off or so. The 'FURY BOYS' are known far and wide, with sometimes a checkered past, but I'm so proud of all the guys I worked with, as close as a crew can get, hats off to you crewmates you made the experience unforgettable, we went threw stuff I cant even write it all down, and the fellows I worked along side as well, for the most part the Bering Sea, and Pacific Coastal Fishermen are all professionals, and serious sailors, many moved on to other marine jobs, on cargo vessels, any number of fishing trades, and Harbor Pilots etc., most have been successful.