Herring Fishing 2011

 Jamin called me the other day (April 1, 2011 to be exact) a little shaken to tell me that the boat he is fishing on in Sitka,  “Infinite Grace”, nearly went down.

They were fishing for herring and had a large set* (about 400 tons they thought) when the herring suddenly sounded**.  The weight of the fish swimming towards the bottom all at once pulled the boat directly over onto its side.  Jamin was the first to jump from the boat into the skiff.  Brittini, the captain’s daughter and crewman, was in the cabin when the boat began to roll and had to be pulled out of the window by Scotty the other crewman who then helped her down to the skiff with Jamin and then Scotty joined.  The captain of the boat, Tom climbed up onto the railing of the boat and remained there ready to jump if the boat were to go under.  If the fish had not hit the bottom at about 75 feet, the boat would have been pulled under before they could release their rigging to free the boat.   They were able to release the seine*** and ended up losing all the fish in the process.

If you watch the video below, you will see at about minute 2, the boat listing to one side and then the rigging being pulled over as the fish begin their dive and the boat begins to roll.

Everyone was okay, albeit a little rattled.  They spent the last few days making repairs to the boat and also to their net which ripped in the process.

*set—what they call the catch of fish captured in the net

** sounded—when all the fish captured in the net decided to swim to the bottom of the ocean all at once.  (Like on Finding Nemo)

***seine—the type of net used in this particular fishery


I have decided to start a new category of blog on my site called the “Jamin Files”. As I write this blog I am reminded of other near death experiences my husband has had in our fifteen years of marriage. His sense of adventure combined with the setting in which of these adventures take place makes for some harrowing stories. I will share more in the weeks to come.
For now I want to say “Thank you, God” for preserving his life and the life of the crew of the ‘Infinite Grace’.” I know it is God’s infinite grace that keeps us all alive!

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