The North Western Alexa
Swedish Harbor, North Point Island, Point Islands, Aleutian Islands, AK
ďWe left Swedish a week ago with fuel and extra supplies due to the expected storms. The CB radioís on to keep in touch with people onshore. Iíve got expectations for a good catch.Ē
-Captainís log of the Alexa
Dad left last week for opilio season on his old downeaster boat. Itís another winter storm. The blackness is all I can see looking at the window. Last night he told us the repairs on her were done and he was going to try and get some sleep. Heíll send us an email if the phone onboard doesnít work. The last time that happened was when I was ten, three years ago. They only got the phone fixed the next Sunday, so Mom had to wait until after church to answer.
Itís nine-ten and Iím writing this at the desk in my bedroom. This journal was an early Christmas present from Mom. She gave it to me the day after Wednesday night prayers.
After we got back from church, I was so tired I flopped down on my bed and spent a few minutes listening to the living room conversation. Itís practice for keeping the Alexa
ís log when I leave school.
There isnít nothing Iíd like to do better than be a crabber like my father. Iíve always loved the feel of the wind on my face when I go on deck during the crab seasons and salmon and halibut seasons, despite how cold it is.
Dad told me that thousands of years ago before the Russians came, our ancestors used bone hooks, spears, and lines and sinkers to fish. He said he'd teach me if he had time.
This morning when I went out to collect the eggs from the shed in, it was sleeting. My face stung, so I pulled my red coat tighter around my shoulders and pushed the hood up my head, hiding my curls. I have an Afro, because of my granddad who's from Long Island and fought in World War II against the Japanese. Heís black and Montauk. Thatís why I have an English last name.
A few seconds ago, we were on the couch listening to the weather report on the radio. The seaíll be up to 50 feet and the winds are going to be up to about 40 knots for the next two weeks or so. Sat there for half an hour. Well, it sure seemed like it. I had pins and needles in my legs. At least my fingers arenít numb. Joel spent a minute fiddling with his shoelaces and looking at the clouds. Mom started humming under her breath. I looked up from my sewing. My fingers bled already.
ďWhat?Ē I sucked my finger. Itís not an experience I want to repeat. Lenaíd asked me about Dad- the question we all wanted answered. ďIs Dad gonna be OK?Ē Wanted to say ďYeahĒ, but whatíd I say? ďMaybe.Ē The answer no one wanted to hear. Hate to say stuff like that. Mom shouldíve said it. Or even Joey.
Momís calling me. I need to brush my teeth in a few minutes. Maybe Dadíll call later. He usually calls around the time we get to bed. Sometimes he calls after one of us wakes up- usually Mom. It depends. Wish I was listenin to the waves and seagulls on deck. Thereís been lots of storms. I always remembered the one when I was three and Joey was five. It was dungie season. Our parents bought us presents when we docked, including a blue coat for me and a train set we were forced to share. When we got up in Dadís cabin next morning, there was rain on the window and the sky was covered in grey clouds. Kept hearing sledgehammers on deck, pounding off the ice.
Iíve been in the loft for hours, reading and writing in this journal. Itís quiet in here, sitting on the floor next to a pile of books which were brought up here because our basementís cluttered up. Itís funny how life goes on even though Dad hasnít called us once in the weeks since he left. Or even emailed. I havenít written anything because Iíve been catching up working through questions on of our class novel and math problems. Joeyís initialsíre written inside my ďnewĒ math textbook cover. ďJ. B. C. 7F. North Point Harbor SchoolĒ.
I had a blueberry jam sandwich for breakfast, made using the leftover jam in the fridge. It was the best one Iíve made. Itís still cloudy and pretty windy. After feeding the chickens. I went for a run around the docks. I can see the hills and more clearly from there. There were puddles on every inch of the ground.
Something else happened a few minutes ago. There was a noise up in the rooftops when I first woke up this morning and now itís come back.
Itís three scratches, like somethingís trying to get in through the window.
I thought I imagined it.
edited 2nd Oct '12 4:08:01 PM by MorwenEdhelwen