Alright.. enough family drama and back to our little series about Alaska Salt Co.'s wonderful start up story. Now, where did I leave off?
Some family, fishing drama.
^Me all the time.
The story has nothing to do with Salt Co. really, but it's a fun one and I already promised at the end of Part 1 that I would tell it. It is actually from before we got married, so this story kind of skips all over the place, just go with it, ok?
It was 2013, my first season commercial fishing, ever and Casey's first year with his very own boat. The Harvest Moon was far from fancy, but she had one nice feature:
It doesn't look like much, but when you live in a tiny space for 3 months, it sure is nice to have a flushing toilet. Unfortunately, very early into the season, it quit working. There was some electrical problem, I think, I don't really know. But what I did know, was that when you don't have a toilet on a boat your other options are to A) hang your ass over the side or B) shit in a bucket...
And so. I begged Casey to please fix the toilet.
Here's a pic of Casey fixing the engine because I couldn't find one of him fixing the toilet. He was always fixing things on that old boat.
While he worked on the toilet, I had one job:
To not run over the net. [insert foreshadowing emoji]
While drift fishing, you lay out your net into the water and tug on it with your boat to keep it stretched out, instead of all bunched up, since, you know, you and the net are drifting with the tide. The perfect 'set' points East and West since the fish are running north, and it has a slight curve to it, to kind of corral the fish in.
While Casey was down working on the head, the expectation was for me to throw the engine into gear every now and then to prevent the boat from drifting back over the net, which, it turns out, causes all sorts of problems, like making the boat 'not go'.... But could I do that? No.
I had to be extra. I had to show Casey that I was paying attention, that I was capable and I was going to keep that net fishing perfectly, perfect while he was fixing the toilet for me. I would put the engine in gear, then back to neutral, run down on deck and switch the tow line from port side to starboard, then run back up to the fly bridge and toss the engine back into gear before anything silly happened. It was going great.
But there was one little thing about that boat that I did not yet know (and I am not making excuses, these are the facts), sometimes, when you put the engine in neutral from the flybridge, unless you wiggled the shifter just so, it would just baaaaarely put the boat into reverse....
My intentions were pure, honorable really. But I was in over my head. I should have simply sat on the flybridge and executed my one duty and none of the following mess would have happened.
I was getting over confident, skipping around the boat like I was an actual skipper and not a brand new, fledgling deckhand. I went down to the deck to pick up the tow line and discovered...
THAT I HAD REALLY FUCKED SHIT UP.
Oh I backed that bitch up all up into the net. I was so bad. Instantly. Imagine taking a net made of fishing line and draping it over a spinning fan without a cover... well. ya.
I don't remember what happened next, if Casey heard the chaos with the prop or if I called him out on to the deck. But I do remember his reaction, I'll never forget it.
He ran out, looked around, put the engine in gear, then reverse and tugged on the tow line and when he realized just how bad of a mess I got us into, he yelled:
"What the fuck happened, Britni!?"
Actual photo of me that day:
And to think that 8 years later, I have the same reaction that he did when he merely puts unmatched socks into his drawer [insert crying/laughing emoji].
He instantly apologized for yelling and to this day, has never, ever raised his voice at me since.
I sat on the flybridge crying by myself the whole way home, and I am pretty sure Casey cried too, it was stressful.
We had to be towed back into the harbor, which meant I ruined our day of fishing, as well as someone else's. When we had the boat pulled out, there was so much line whipped into this big shit-show that a buoy and actual salmon completely wrapped around the prop-tangled-mess...
the tow guy said it was the best he had ever seen...
The other fisherman told me that I was seasoned now, and that most folks have to get their big fuck up out of the way at some point. I just over achieved and did mine straight away.
The next day was my birthday, and the day I would meet Casey's parents for the very first time (oh god, like, how is fishing going? oh, and how is it having your girlfriend as your deckhand, oh, that well, huh?). They actually went out fishing with us the next day and, for obvious reasons, the toilet was not fixed yet...
So on day two of knowing my soon-to-be-future-in-laws, I had to politely ask them to step inside the cabin so I could use the 'ladies bucket' on the deck (and har-har, not the fucking poop deck you immature, insensitive ass holes). Nothing like shitting in a bucket, when you're in-laws know that you're shitting in a bucket.
That's it. That's the story of the only time Casey yelled at me. I deserved it then, and have probably deserved a few verbal lashings since. But we got through it and this, along with many other wild stories, are the building blocks for our partnership. We have been through a lot together both on land and at sea.
I really thought long and hard about how to tie in our new 'Bomb Squad' packaging launch into this story but, I got nothin..
So anyway.. OMG YAY! Our Bomb Squads finally have a home. Holly and I have been working on this project for what seems like forever. Holly, without any fancy degree in graphic design, created this beautiful box from scratch. Oh, I could not be happier with the outcome.
Packaging projects like these are such a huge undertaking for little companies like ours. And we have a thousand of these bad chickens so don't be shy about all ordering them at once :)
AAANNNNNDDDD Holly designed this beautiful little insert that has a map of the squad that actually unfolds and has a story about each one inside..
GOOD JOB HOLLY!!! Ah, I am so excited about these. I want to send them all over the planet... I hope they bring smiles to faces in places near and far. It is our first product that has the actual word 'fuck' printed on it. Seems like a turning point of some kind. The dawn of a new era. #yay
Woohoo! A discount!! For 10% off of your next salty purchase, use code: