We’ve continued to have a long string of rainy weather, which is unusual according to the locals. I didn’t mind since I was still dealing with a virus that kept hanging on, and we have plenty of indoor chores to keep us busy. The cool wet days are perfect for knitting – making little gifts and warm things, and it’s especially nice since there are two knitting/crafting groups that I meet up with here in town – kind and interesting ladies. I love to listen to the comments they make, especially since I’m one of the few women in town who have never been on a commercial fishing boat; most of the ladies either fished with their dads or their husbands, and many couples fished commercially in retirement. There’s a wide variety of things to know in order to be successful: complex fishery regulations, species-specific biology, oceanography, weather, boat operation and maintenance… and on top of all that you have to be willing to work long hard hours in all weather conditions. The more we learn about fishermen the more deeply we respect their intellect, commitment, and skill.
In addition to knitting groups, I confess that I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on my own lately – it’s challenging and fun to transform a little pile of fiber like this……into something spiffy like this.I’m trying to challenge myself and get my skills to the point where I can try to make a real Norwegian sweater (that actually fits). All this knitting has resulted in yarn purchases that I might be able to avoid if I could make better use of the yarn I have aboard – the stash. A lot of the stash was acquired from Mom (a knitting teacher) when I was a pretty Junior Knitter and didn’t really know what I needed or what to do with different things. Combine an unruly stash full of mystery yarn and living in a small space, and it was way past time to get it organized.
The yarn lives under the long sofa, and it was so jammed full that the cushions sat higher in that section.Living in a small space means that any attempt to organize creates an unreal amount of chaos in the process. It’s ugly, and I have to make sure Jim is adequately prepared for the extent and duration of the devastation. The yarn project took 2 days, and we coped by going out for pizza and a movie. There was yarn piled everywhere in the saloon (fancy name for a boat’s living room).The happy news is that the yarn has now been tamed, inventoried, reorganized so I can find things, and weeded out. I took a huge bag of yarn to give to the ladies at the Manor, and Jim is guardedly optimistic that I might actually use some of what’s lurking under the sofa instead of dragging him to yarn shops whenever we’re in civilization. (Actually I never drag him to yarn shops – he won’t let me go alone. Sigh.)
Sunday the Sons of Norway hosted a “Meatball-palooza” pot-luck dinner where people brought all different kinds of meatballs. Exhausted from the yarn reorganization, I wasn’t particularly inspired to cook, but Jim saw a recipe he thought would be interesting for sausage meatballs. He did all his shopping and planning for ample quantities, and Chef Jim stepped up to the plate and (I am proud to say) hit a home run with his fantastic sausage meatballs!The Meatball-palooza event was great fun, and some people dressed in tropical wear to counteract the dreary weather. With so few restaurants in town and almost no options at dinnertime, pot-luck gatherings are a popular activity.Monday and Tuesday were glorious with bright sunshine and blue skies – a tremendous contrast after weeks of monochromatic dark days. I had to run around and take a few photographs……and we jumped in the car and took a ride out the road to look for wildlife. We heard about a pack of wolves that has been sighted just south of town, though we didn’t see them. We explored a logging road that cuts through the National Forest across the island, and savored the views even though it was late in the day and the light was fading fast. We saw one panorama across the muskeg where we could see Frederick Sound, the craggy snow-capped Coastal Mountains, and icebergs at the mouth of Le Conte (glacier) inlet over 15 miles away – gorgeous! Aside from the swans and other birds we didn’t see any wildlife. We’re having such a mild winter that the deer haven’t come down off the mountains. We’ll see what February brings.
Speaking of February, the tanner crab fishery opens soon and the docks have started to get busy with fishermen preparing for the season. Our neighbor’s boat is sitting low, loaded down with crab pots……and Petersburg Fisheries has a big stack of pots sitting on the dock ready to go.Temperatures are supposed to drop into the mid-30s late this week and into next week, and the thought of heading out in the winter weather and frequent gale force winds sounds pretty daunting. Think about all the hardworking fishermen when you enjoy your seafood!