Into the Storm
A month ago things were different. It amazes me how life can be so calm one moment and crazy the next. As I step out of the Alaskan airport, a gust of cold, frigid wind hits me in the face. “Are you James?” a voice says from behind me. The voice came from a short stocky man in his thirties. “Why yes I am” I reply. “My name is Louis and I will be your captain. We’ve got to get going. We plan on leaving tonight. I hope you are prepared.” Louis is here to bring me to the boat. I find it nice that the captain himself, is taking the time to come get me.
The ride to the boat was calm. Louis seemed like a nice guy. I never thought I would be fishing for crabs in the middle of the Alaskan winter. It all started when my now ex-wife wanted a divorce. She took everything I had, including the kids from me. I see Alaskan crab fishing as a way to move on, and hopefully make some good money. As we were driving, the radio buzzed as the weatherman was talking about an incoming storm. “It will be alright,” Louis exclaims as I raise my head in question. I don’t know much about Alaskan weather but, I trust Louis with his judgement. When we get to the boat which is surprisingly big in size, I can see fifteen other crewmates getting things ready. All I can think about is whether or not I made the right decision coming here. As we step out of the car, Louis looks at me and says, “I don’t expect you to learn all their names right away, but just be nice and they should be nice as well. The only person you got to watch out for is Jayce. He’s had it rough, so be easy on him.” I look over and see a tall buff older man with a scraggly beard. He was secluding himself from everyone else. I assume that this is Jayce.
By the time we got everything ready, it was already way past dark. The days are short and the nights are long. This is something I will need to get used to. I haven’t had much time to socialize. It’s been all work so far. As we start sailing I can feel the waves rock the whole boat back and forth. The job I have been assigned is pulling the crate filled with crabs onto the boat. I didn’t get that much training. They are expecting me to learn as we go. By the time we make our first drop my whole body is aching in pain. The wind is fierce and with every gust, cold water pellets collide against my face. I look up over the edge of the boat only to see a sea of darkness and vicious waves. “Looks scary doesn’t it,” a voice yells behind me. I turn around to face the big man with a scraggly beard. “My names Jayce,” he says reaching his hand out towards me. “James” I reply as I shake his hand. “Are we going to stop if the storm gets bad?” I ask questioning him. “Louis is a bit stubborn and I wouldn’t be surprised if we keep going. Although he hasn’t killed anyone yet, his judgement isn’t the best at the moment. He’s been going through a rough time,” he yells back to me. “I’m sorry to hear that” I reply, as a wave crashes into the boat knocking me from my feet.
The waves have been progressively getting worse over the first 10 hours of being out here. I have yet to have a break. Every single muscle in my body burns and aches in agony. I have finally gotten the chance to take a break as we are between fishing spots. In the boat cabin I run into Louis. “How are you doing so far?” He asks smiling at me. “Good” I reply back but my body says otherwise. I feel mentally and physically exhausted. “I see Jayce has found a liking in you. It’s good he’s finally found someone he gets along with,” he says as he hurries out of the room. I guess that’s the signal that it’s time to get back to work.
We have finally gotten to the third fishing spot. The waves have gotten to the point where I can barely stand and do my job. “Brace,” Louise’s voice blares over the loud speaker as a big wave tips and lifts up the whole boat. I look over to see Jayce calmly holding on the railing. A wave passes underneath as the boat crashes back down only to be picked up by yet another wave. I can barely see a couple feet ahead of me. The voice blares over the loud speaker again but I can’t hear it clearly anymore. I decide it would be best if me and Jayce made it into the boat cabin. Walking over to Jayce I feel the boat lift up and crash down again but it felt different this time. “That doesn’t sound good,” Jayce says as a loud groan comes from the right side of the boat. “What’s going on?” I ask with fear. Before he could answer me, the right side of the boat started to flood and sink.
In the movies it always takes a while for the boat to sink. That was not the case here. The boat is sinking rapidly and everyone is in a panic to get the life boats out. I look at Jayce and he is still looking calm. “There’s no use getting the lifeboats out. It’s too late,” he said looking at me. I want to believe that it’s not too late but sadly it is. The boat is sinking too fast. The storm is too strong. Once we got the boats in the water, we would be destroyed by the first wave that hit us. It seems as if other people are starting to realize this too as they are now calmly standing around. They’ve given up. “I guess this is it. It’s been nice getting to know you,” Jayce says loudly. As the cold fierce waves swallow up the rest of the boat and me, all I can think about is how I wish I could go back in time and fix my past. But now I understand that it’s too late.
Into the Storm
Into the Storm