Most people see only the romantic side of fishing. The old wooden boats, the cozy nights at sea with the rain coming down, the camaraderie between fisherman, a pretty Stan Rogers picture. Of course the average person realises that with all that wonderful stuff comes a lot of hard work. Long, hard, dirty fish stinky smelly days.
Being the daughter of a fisherman can sometimes be difficult. My father spent most of my life leaving. He had fishing openings all summer long so he might have been home a day or two here and there but I was not likely to see him because he would be getting ready for the next opening.
Fisherman don't just fish their boats. They maintain the structure of their boats and they are the mechanics. A fisherman has to know exactly how his boat works because if he is out fishing and something happens then he has to able to fix it. He also has to maintain his gear. I have many memories of my father sitting out in the yard mending his nets for hours. So marine mechanic, ship builder, electrician, hydraulics specialist oh and yes he had to know how to fish and everything that entails. Fishing is no 9 to 5 job. It's all year all the time which is very hard to integrate your family into. Even the summers that I spent out with my father, I felt like more of a burden than a help.
I was a lucky in some respects. My dad came home. Every year trip after trip he actually came home. My dad's count of friends who have not come home is now at 41. So as much as my dad was away, their dads will never be around ever again.
My family has a long line in the fishing industry. My grand father the cannery manager, great grandfather fishery officer and many more stories of long waits for their return. Long hours, long nights and a lot of very self sufficient women back home.