Pacific Fishing Magazine

November 2011

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Page 9 of 71

YOUR BUSINESS Home grown Skipper goes to extreme measures to get a deckhand My husband, Jan, and I took our newborn baby fishing this summer. This would have been enough of a challenge on its own, but to make it even harder, I am the skipper of our Prince William Sound seiner. I was more than surprised to find out that I was pregnant Fischer's first deck load: From left is Andre Lovett, Ariel Haunschild, Megan Spurkland, Fischer Spurkland, and father Jan Spurkland aboard the F/V Centurion. Photos by Sonja Corazza and less than excited to realize I was due in the beginning of the salmon season. Several different options for leasing the boat or letting my husband have a rookie year as skipper were considered, but in the end, we decided to try to stay together as a family and do what seemed impossible. I felt useless during boat work; my jobs were limited to errands I could run in town. I couldn't fit into the engine room, couldn't lift boxes, couldn't be around paint fumes — and definitely couldn't fit into the survival suits during our safety drills! Every time I went into Kachemak Gear Shed for supplies, I was accused of stealing a buoy, even if I went in four times a day. "Ah, looks like you've got an A-5 under there!" It was three weeks until D-day when my boat left the dock in Seattl e 5351 24th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107 206-783-6800 Dutc h Harbor 1558 East Point Road Unalaska, AK 99692 907-581-1498 Now at our Dutch Harbor Facility: • Year-Round Electricians available 24/7 Booth #1326 • NightWatch Monitoring and Alarm Panels • Aqua-Sonar Flow Measurement Gauges.......... ......Ultrasonic - with No Pipe Penetrations! Rebuilt Generators Kato 30 kW $2,300.00 and 75 kW $3,400.00 and Emerson 640 kW $8,000.00 Rebuilt Motors US 300 hp $4,400 and Baldor 22 kW $1,200.00 NightWatch Alarm Aqua Sonar Flow Gauges Homer at the end of May. Not wanting to induce labor by battling the confused seas around Gore Point, I waved goodbye as my mom drove the boat and my husband, coiling a line, cheerfully reassured In order to take the baby on a commercial fishing boat I had to obtain a letter of non-enforcement from the Coast Guard because the industry has no survival suits for infants until they reach 36 inches in height. me that they were going to be fine making the 24-hour trip to the Sound. I thought that I would be crying and depressed, but I just went home and collapsed into an exhausted sleep. Waiting: I met my boat in Whittier, docked it, and went to Anchorage to wait. A month later, on June 26, my husband walked slowly beside Maintain Seaworthiness with PFI Marine Electric The Sea Has No Back Door 10 £ PACIFICFISHING £ NOVEMBER 2011 £ WWW.PACIFICFISHING.COM me, carrying our 2-week-old in a car seat, as I limped slowly beside him, recovering from a C-section. I stood beside the boat. Could I climb on? The question had been haunting me for a while. With a deep breath, I carefully lifted my leg up. Success! The next hurdle continued on page 12 by Megan Spurkland

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