Posted by: Tom Jr | June 6, 2012

Now in Sitka my final stop on this Journey

Well Sitka what can I say so far. It’s a much nicer town then the rest I have bin. Its clean and the people are nice to me everywhere I have gone(even tho they still don’t need a green deckhand…). And I am the guy that says “Hello,good afternoon” to everyone I walk passed. The Ferry ride was great and for the first time seen some animals other the those big crow’s ….I mean Raven’s haha. I saw some Sea lions and a handful of whales which was awsome to see in the wild and them not being harpooned by some metal floating city. I met a really chill girl named Beth who was on her own new path in life and we chatted for a few hours before we got to Sitka and I wish her nothing but the best in life. Life is short and we need to live it up while we have it no madder what problems we ALL have .

It was 1:15 am and it was still dark so I was not gonna get off the ferry until there was some light then I would head to town. But around 2:30 I was called by the lady on the ship who told me my ride was here..I wasn’t sure if the man my Mom talked about for a storage unit was gonna pick me up and well there he was . So he took me into town drove around the center so I would know where a few things were at and told me his wife set me up in a hostel and he would take me there. I thanked him as he dropped me off at the Sitka International Hostel . There would be a note with directions on the door with what to do and where to go inside. So I read the note and said goodbye to “Lee” and thanked him again . I walked in the dark building, down the hall, up to the stairs on the right and up to the the first bed on the left with clean sheets. I quietly  layed my back packs down and felt a little weird being in a room with 10 beds and a bunch of strangers sleeping on them. I have never bin to a Hostel and had no idea what I was in for. I sat down looked around and layed back and slept with one eye open ( I did not sleep well) all night. I woke up to a sunny day (which I hadn’t seen many this last month in Alaska ) and only a couple of guys left in the room. I got up took a shower and got some clean clothes on .

I met Nick the guy who helps run the place with another nice lady and he had a full sleeve of colored ink so it was nice to see as I am sleeved with tattoo’s . I told him I was really thankful and I appreciate the note and we set it up for three nights I could stay there and MAYBE more if nobody else comes in or makes reservations as they like to get new people in when needed. So I said anything would be  great and we could talk in three days to see if I could stay longer(which I hope as tonight is my third night) .He let me know when we need to be in at night and when we had to leave in the morning and I could leave my gear there during the day and it would be safe and make things easyer for me to get around and find some work (In by 11pm and out by 10am) on a boat or a processing plant in town.

I met a local guy named “Robby” who was staying there as well and hes a good guy. I left and about 45 mins later from the Hostel and as I was enjoying a cup of coffee and a breakfast bagel on the waters edge he walked up and said hello. So he sat down and we started talking about this and that and all the other. A real nice guy born in Sitka then left when he was 14 and now back in town(hes about 25) looking for work himself. He ended up knowing someone from Sitka Sound Seafood and was able to start work the next day. Unfortunately there are no bunk houses for anyone as they are all full. And as is the worker list and there are no openings in the plant or any of the other two . Which was my last resort if I couldn’t find a job. 

Well after walking dock to dock and talking to whoever I saw and putting flyer’s up at all of the dock boards which is usually right at the top or bottom of the stairs. And even putting them up at the local grocery stores(not to mention half drunk fisherman telling me I am wasting my time) no calls yet . Its really sad how a lot of the people I saw get off actually more like stumble off the boats after fishing all day and drinking, I being sober can’t get work on any of them.  I was even told at 11:00am “Here have a shot of whiskey and you might get a job” well to speak frankly FUCK THAT…. I am not working with or around a bunch of drunk fisherman where our lives are at risk every time we leave port for any amount of money its just not worth it to me. And one thing I have realized is most of them are on one sort of something or another and I guess I am not a fit . Don’t get me wrong I am sure there are some sober non drug addicts who are in charge of boats and well those are the boats with solid crews who don’t mess around nor do they need a “Greenhorn” like me .

Well I am at that point in the road where I did everything I could do to get a job in Alaska and try and make a living for my family and it has bin one rollercoaster after another. And maybe this is not the year for me to get on a boat. Well what about next year? Is this the only time I have in my life to work in Alaska on a fishing boat? Well I do not think it is and I can come back up year with what I learned NOT to do and bring it even stronger next year. I have things back home I can take care of and make another run next year .

When it comes right down to it its my choice just like it was to come up here. I am not worried about “Hurt feelings” or what another man/women thinks of me. I am a good man with a good heart and I will become something on this small planet. I will make a living for my family and I will continue to grow and learn about myself everyday. I am a strong person who has a good head on his shoulders and I treat everyone how I would want to be treated .

So for now this may be my last post in Alaska and my next will be of me arriving back HOME in California .

To be continued…

Posted by: Tom Jr | June 6, 2012

Wrangell Ak

After a couple hours of sleep and a short few hour ferry ride I arrived in Wrangell Ak not knowing what to expect .I was told by what I hoped to be my new captain for the summer if he was not at the ferry terminal to just start walking to the boat yard where all the boats were being worked on and I  would find him or he would be on his way to  pick me up. Well I got off the ferry and he was not there so I started walking . I made it to Bob’s Supermarket and he pulled up in his white halibut hat and pulled up in what I think was an older Ford pickup truck . He got out and we said our hellos and I through both of my packs in the back of the truck and we headed into the boat yard. This place was awsome all these boats out of water having who knows what work done to them to get them ready for whatever fishery they were in that was getting ready to start. Shipping containers stacked four high to build work stations for large boats to be worked on and painted in a covered area .We pulled up to a covered large 50ft+ wooden double ender power troller. What I was told was one of the largest and oldest and well maintained boats in the fleet. We got out of the truck and he told me I was sleeping in a shipping container and was told it was ok by two of the guys in the yard who do a lot of the boat work for the guys in the fleet. So I put my gear in there and we walked up the covered scaffolding. After what was told to me to be a “latte” (Milk and a shot of coffee) and a conversation about eachother he put me right to work .And work I did.

Over the coarse of the next few days I woke up and sanded and painted and then did it all again the next day and the next. The boat is awsome and I worked my ass off . I did it all day with a smile on my face enjoying every moment of it. I felt good finally being a part of something and working. I met this amazing guy named Tyler who is one of the guys who works on a lot if the boats that come into the yard. He is an awsome smart guy with a great personality so we took a liking to each other right off the back . You need some work done you go to him he knows his shit about boats and is well liked around there that is for sure.

After my forth day of working I decided to go check out one of the three local bars in town.I felt it was ok to go have a beer and play some pool ( free pool table inside) And yes I asked my Captain if it was ok. So I ask about them and decide I am gonna go to the one closest to the boat yard and check it out .Now I am all alone in Alaska ,a place full of rowdy ass men and women and a good amount either on some hard core drug or drunk before noon everyday. I was told there all “decent” spots but I should go to Rayme’s which was right across the street from the boat yard and well I can say I am glad that was the place I decided to go . Its a nothing special kind of hole in the wall with a free pull table , foose ball table and a shuffle board table (which I met a group of guys who asked me to play with and played my first game and well caught on fast ) . I didn’t have a beer at first as I wanted to see the kind of people coming in and out and needed to keep a clear mind incase I needed to make a decision on if it was time to go or if my back was againts the wall and I had to get all crazy and defend myself. After seeing the people I realized real fast I was just fine and could have a drink and not worry I would be able to handle my own expecially with my $4 “Vicky”in my pocket on stand by at a moments notice to get to cutting anyone who thought I was “easy prey” You just never know where I come from and being in a place with a very large mix of people things always go down. Town locals not getting along with each other or some group of Seiners from another town walking like there Highliners all bad ass.

Over the next week it became my new place to go to after work to play free pool all night and have a few redbulls and water , yes redbulls and water at a bar haha. I don’t need to drink and get plastered every night to have a nice time. don’t get me wrong after BlueMoon was put on tap and had a good couple glasses with and orange slice from time to time. But nothing to crazy as I needed to wake up and work on the boat everyday until I was told the work was done. There was awsome bar tender names Ashley who was real friendly and on point,no drug’s and no drinking. It was her first bar tending job and she’s got it down. Reminded me of some of my bartenders back in California I really like . Just a good class of person .

I found myself for dinner going to the place called The Marine bar who has a restaurant on one side (which is the only side I ever went to ) and had great food. First night was a good ole cheeseburger and these cris cut fry’s with nacho cheese to dip the cris cut fry’s in ! And well that was my new daily thing to have, there so good its crazy haha. The next night were these amazing Halibut tacos with all the fixing’s and they were so good for sure !

After over a week of working and a few negative things happening between me and the captain I realized deep down this was not who I wanted to work for for the summer and it would be best to move on. I will not speak about any of the negative things that happened  nor will  I say anything bad about the captain I just knew it wasn’t right and it was time to move on and hopefully find someone else to work for. So we sat down and I let him and his lady know and they were understanding and let me know how hard of a worker I was and its to bad it didn’t work out and we were not a fit. But I need to go with my gut feeling that says to move on and don’t listen to anyone else and what THEY tell you to do in life. I was told by the Captains Girlfriend that I will find my place in this world and keep moving forward in life and do what I have to. I thank her for her kind words and the Captain at least giving me a chance to work on his boat for him.I had to wait for 3 days for the next ferry that was going Northbound to arrive so I continued to help get the boat in order and worked my ass off like I always do with a good attitude. Just some my two cents, wear a respirator mask when your working with copper bottom paint .

At this point in time I was broke , out of money and could not keep draining my family ( who has no money) and may have to toss the towel in . After a few phone calls back home to a few people my spirits rose a little. And out of the blue someone who noticed how hard of a worker I was and took a liking to me and said I was a hard worker and have a great attitude pulled out a stack of $100 Dollar bills, counted out five of them and said he did not want to see me go home after all I have gone through and said I need to keep going on my Journey and head to Sitka . I almost couldnt believe it when he did this, I mean how amazing of someone who has only known you for such a small time in both of our lives to go out of pocket with $500 . I assured him he would get every red cent returned and I would keep pushing forward and would find my place in this world.

Sitka Bound

Posted by: Tom Jr | June 6, 2012

Petersburg Ak

So I left Ketchikan running, well rather boating on the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry. As of this far all the ferry riding has bin one of the most amazing things I have experienced. Everything from the people I have met to the crew members aboard are all great .The amazing new snow covered mountain top I have never layed eyes on  and Bald Eagles everywhere. I am really glad I chose to travel this way and it has bin the silver lining through all the ruff things I have gone through so far.

Petersburg has three docks right close to the ferry . The southern dock , the center dock and the north dock. I started at the southern dock and walked up and down everyone talking to everyone I could come across. There were not to many people there that early in the morning but I kept walking. After talking to everyone I saw I head to the center dock and did the same. Unlike ketchikan this place felt a little better. I didn’t get told to “Fuck off” when I said good morning or come across a group of Sainers laughing giving me the middle finger as they pulled out.people here were not as “Clicky” or as “Clanny” as people had mentioned,well not at least to me . Things to seem to be looking up. After I walked the second dock I felt it was time to get a little food in me so I went to this restaurant right off the docks and had a good ole breakfast burrito ,and good it was indeed. Met a couple young fisherman who owned there own boats and was there first season out on there own Forrest was one of there names and I ran into him back at the docks on his boat. He was a nice guy willing to talk to me and not blow me off. After eating I went right back at it on the north dock and walked each row meeting more people and getting more good words of encouragement which kept me in high spirits.

But nothing came of the morning/afternoon of walking to docks so at this point what was on my mind was “Where am I gonna sleep?” The nearest place to camp is 20 miles out of town and well I couldn’t walk that if I wanted to and then be able to turn around and walk back to the docks to look for work. I got a phone call from back home and my parents borrowed MORE money to set me up in a hotel room for two nights . Which was much appreciated and much needed at this point but I cannot find myself to keep getting money sent to me when my family has no money to send.I know they want me to succeed but at the expense of being without money to pay the bills at home is not something I want to do. Especially for a “dream”.

They told me a lady from a place called The Tides Inn would pick me up at the ferry terminal and take me to the hotel. So after about 20 minutes she showed up in there company van and took me right to the hotel. It was a lower end but nice place with nice staff. The counter lady and the maintenance man were all great. Chuck was his name and well I could never forget him , a friendly man who worked hard and kept a good conversation. If/when I go back to Petersburg he will be one of the first people I look up when I arrive in town . Well now that I have a place to lay my backpacks full of my life it is much easyer to “walk the docks” have a backpack on my back and one in the front is a lot to handle that is for sure but I gotta do what I gotta do. I have all my gear and everything I need to keep going. after taking a much needed shower and a bed to sleep in I woke up early and heading right back to the docks. I was emailed from a man saying he may know of a guy arriving in Petersburg who may need a deckhand . So after going to his boat more then enough times to see if I could meet him he was just never there. So I decided to go make up a few flyer’s with my name and new cell phone number and post them on the boards that are up on the ramps of the docks where other people looking for work or selling things do as well.

I arrived back to my room after Captain “L” says a man wanted my number on the website and I should get on and get in contact with him and so I did at that moment. After a few wrong numbers given out and some phone tag we got on the phone with eachother and talked for a little bit. He said he needed a deckhand and if I could make it to Wrangell Ak I would more then likely have a spot with him. So I checked the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry schedule and it was arriving the next morning heading southbound to Wrangell and let the Captain know I would be on it and on my way . We hung up and I walked back to the docks and took my flyer’s down and emailed the man online who told me about the Captain arriving in Petersburg and how I could not seem to find him when I went to his boat and let him know I was leaving Petersburg and I thank him for passing my name along but I could not find him and got an offer back down in Wrangell . I went back to my room and packed all my gear back up , took a small nap and was driven back to the ferry terminal at 12:30 am to board the ferry.

See you later Petersburg.

Posted by: Tom Jr | May 22, 2012

What a slap in the face

So I have arrived it Ketchikan and let me tell you….Its a slap in the face .This is not Alaska is it? If its not a town drunk, a pissed off Dick of a Captain telling me to screw off or some Tweeker heroin addict walking out of the fish cleaning plant I don’t know what is going to be around the next corner. Everyone I have met that has bin nice to me isn’t even from here and the three that have bin nice that do live here have only lived here for 2 or 3 years and they cant wait to get out of here they say.

I have “walked the docks” 3 days in a row now all morning and mid afternoon . Everyone tells me I am too early, they do not need help (when I clearly see they do) or “your in the wrong town for fishing you should go to such and such” while the Captain is standing on his boat two shots shy of a Gallon of Jack. All day I have seen nothing but cruise ships with TONS of people getting off blowing all there money on FAKE machine made totems ( a local let me know ) . I have so much gear with me that I am about to give it away and say forget it Ill keep whats in my pockets. Having too full backs packs full of Grunden’s gear head to toe and the wrest of my clothes is a little much . I am now just wearing my work boots like it was the thing to do ( and I guess it is haha) . I think I will try the same docks tomorrow morning one more time before I go back to the Alaska Marine Highway System terminal and get out of this place. Where should I go? What  a Journey this is for sure .

The first day I was invited to church by some kid who said hello to me on the docks (who lives on a non fishing boat with his parents) and so I went along, the people there seemed okay but I can tell they were not to genuine and were kind of fake, they were in a big hurry to pass around the collection plate yadda yadda yadda, the church pasture was nice enough to let me pitch my tent in the front yard of the church and I even got a funny vibe from him (real huggy with the kids). Its next to a drug dealers house and I had to get what little sleep I did (while a blowing rainy storm was slamming my tent around ) with a knife and metal pole in my hand ready to jump out and go California on them lol .

As of right now I have a pretty sour taste in my mouth about Alaska and I really hope that when I leave this   . . . . . town the next one will be better and that sweet taste of life and maybe some fresh fish will enter my mouth ! . And hopefully someone will let me clean there boat ( looks like they don’t do much but keep them afloat) so I can have a place to lay my head safe at night besides where I have and a spot for my gear like I don’t know on my body while I am working lol . Even the local shelter is ran by a Twenty year old thief who steals the homeless people’s stuff and runs around like he is general big dog.  I just need to get my foot in the door , I wish my Captain in Washington was fishing this season and I would get proper training from a quality person . I am willing to work for free just to get the exp I need to get a resume that the Captains want from me.

It’s sad I was expecting so much more from the people here. Sorry if your from here and like ” Hey I am not like that” I have not met you I am sure of it 😉

And sorry for the lack of photos  I will put them in another time just haven’t had much to take pictures of .

Thank you everyone

Posted by: Tom Jr | May 16, 2012

Olympia Washington

“Hey “L” that you buddy?”

“Hey Tom you made it, glad your finally here !”

“Heck yea bro I am here in the flesh haha”

“It’s god to see you, How was the train ride?”

“Amazing! We left Sacramento Two hours late it was a little after 2am and it was a smooth ride for sure”

“Well I am glad your here and the family is all at the house waiting for you to get there”

So I have made my way from Sacramento to Olympia Washington by train. We left the train station two hours late and left around 2:15. It was an awsome ride and had a few nice conversations with a couple really nice people.

There was one lady who was  in the observation deck on the train who I had sat next to to listen to the train guide telling everyone about the different sites on the route of the train. Telling us about the track and the history of it. Pointing out mountains and what they were all about. “Shoe trees”  he said were a BIG thing up in Oregon……(Throwing old shoes or whatever in trees) seemed odd but hey to each there own .Id rather see a tree without a bunch of old shoes or Undies in them haha. Well I had said something to her along the lines of “wow that is pretty interesting” she gave me the most side ways look with crooked eyes looked me up and down saw all my tattoos and grabbed her purse held it real close and about 60 seconds later got up and walked away . . . . .Yea because  I am here to purse jack some lady on a train in the middle of  nowhere. Some people really crack me up and it only shows there own ignorance  .

I had a nice dinner on he train it was a veggie lasagna (there was no meat kind) and some salad .I fell asleep the last hour of the ride in Washington and the nice person next to me woke me and let me know we had arrived at the Olympia Train Station.  We walked off the train one after another and I politely said”Goodbye and nice to meet you and thank you for waking me” to the girl who woke me. She said “Nice to meet you and good luck up there!”  as we walked off the train she asked me if I needed to use her phone to call my ride and before I answered I looked around and said “No thank you there is my ride right there!”

Captain “L” is his name. I met him of of a Salmon Trolling Forum website I have bin chatting on for a few months now.We have become friends and he has taken me into his home with his family and how grateful I am. I do not think I could of started this Journey off with a better family . This is one great family and I cannot stress that enough.We drove a few miles into the State forest where their home is. It is a very nice place ,apple trees, chickens and even deer . A nice house with room for everyone and I was even put into my own guest room .

I have spent the last few days getting to know this family and there friends . They all seem to really enjoy my company as I really enjoy there’s.  Captain “L” has bin teaching me boating terms that I need to know like what it means when you see a green light on a boat or a red light or what is the white light mean . How to tie knots that I need to know for either getting leaders ready or how to tie a boat to the dock. Before I go to bed I spend 10 minutes practicing tying knots over and over again . We went to his parents house this Sunday where he keeps his boat. The house site is on a hill facing East overlooking  Puget Sound with an amazing view of  Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens .WOW this is some awsome looking land up here !

Captain “L” has a really nice boat that is for sure. It is a Grady White set up for  Salmon Trolling ,its like a hot rod on the water haha. He has bin so helpful its amazing. He taught me about the electrical current that the boat puts off in the water and the importance of  maintaining the zinc anodes on the boat and then had me clean the areas they go ,do some zinc grinding and then I put them on the boat.  What Blue wire tips mean and if I see them clean them up . How to do things safely without wasting time. ALWAYS wear glasses is something he wants me to remember due to many of things that can come back and slap me in the eye. Ways to get over being sea sick or at least ways that may help. At one point there were 5 Fisherman standing around me saying ” Ok listen were all potential people who are gonna hire you, tie this knot then this one then this one and do it fast” So I had a nice crowd of men around me coaching me and it really helps,I don’t fold under pressure I get it done . He had me tie leaders one with a Spoon for Salmon and one with a hoochie. Then he showed me how to add wire to the gurdie. We put the leaders on and he had me run the gurdies like we were fishing while on shore. Throwing the leaders over the side of the boat onto the concrete garage driveway ,then pulling them in and putting the leaders in the box in order .How to read topographical maps and such. Its crash coarse 101 commercial fishing as I have bin saying!

He tells me that he really believe’s I am going to be a Captain one day and a good one at that. I don’t know how he knows that but I only hope to become something in this short life of mine and surprise everyone . I have three days left here and its going to go by to fast. I have already got memories in my head that will last me the rest of my life. We are going to go to the port where he sells fish here in Washington and take the day to check the docks out and he wants to show me a few things. I am truly grateful for everything up to this point.

I have know idea what is to come in the next few weeks. I do not know where I will end up or who I will be working for. I do know one thing is for sure   I will become a fisherman .

Posted by: Tom Jr | May 7, 2012

I am the Investment .

“Hey Tom you have any Silver for sale?”

“You know it , I need to get rid of about 30 more Ounces for this trip”

“Damn bro that’s a lot . I don’t want that much but I will take 10 Ounces off your hands ”

“Hey every little bit helps . This Alaska trip is costing a lot of money and I haven’t even left my house haha!”

“How much is this all gonna cost you? Like the cost to get there, your gear,food.Where are you going to stay? Have you got a job lined up? Do you even know anyone up there?”

“Calm down calm down haha. Its gonna be all good bro. It will cost me close to $2000 to get this all going. The train ticket, the ferry ticket , the gear, food and more travel cash while I am in the South East for more ferry rides to here or there.”

“Damn man that’s a lot of cash to come up with”

“Yea for sure but it takes money to make money . As for where  I will stay I am going to stay in Washington till my ferry leaves a week later. Gonna stay with some great people and learn a thing or two, a crash coarse in fishing.Its a fishing family ans he is a Captain . Then head to Bellingham WA hop on the ferry and go to Ketchikan.”

“Why Ketchikan? You know anyone there?”

“Nope don’t know anyone there. I just want to start the trip off right and this is more then just me going up looking for a “Summer job” I need to check all the areas out and see if it is a place I could possibly live and could bring the rest of the family up.”

“Wait, what? Your thinking of moving? What the hell you thinking of doing that for? This is your home,its California bro!”

“Haha  EXACTLY its California haha. It is no longer the place it once was and it hasn’t bin for a while.The place everyone wanted to go ! No more times have changed and things are getting bad in this state and I don’t want my life to follow that same path or do I want my kids to either .”

“Come on man its not that bad out here, I love this place !”

“Haha yea for sure bro I am glad your still asleep haha! I want to see more in life so I am out of here to find it! I will camp out until I find work then hopefully be lucky to stay on a boat with a good family/crew. I do not have a job lined up but why would anyone just hire some random guy who “wants to go fishing” off the internet? You know what I mean? They want to see me in person ,see how I walk talk and carry myself .”

“Damn bro there probably gonna treat you like a “Red Headed Step Child” like the new guy to pick on haha. There gonna sit around and figure out ways to break you ” He laughs

“Haha yea well we will see how far that gets anyone and what the outcome of that will be, you know me ” I say

“Yea bro you will be fine I’m just kidding, people EVERYWHERE like you and you always fit in and become friends with someone everyone damn where we go.Plus your a hard worker and your smart! ”

“Hey thanks ,that’s how I roll haha.I treat people how I want to be treated. With all the negative in the world while add to it. I am trying to change things positively by surrounding myself with good people. I am good at reading people so I will keep an eye out for the people who are out looking for people to pray on and use. I will not be a victim and will have my guard up while I am gone.”

“Yea there are some shady ass people out there always looking to screw someone over to get ahead you gotta be careful. Keep your eyes open and watch your back, you better come back safe bro”

“I will be just fine come on look where I am from,I have more of a chance getting shot by one of these punk ass “Gangsters” while I walk up to the store 7 houses away for a damn bottle of Apple-Strawberry juice which by the way you should try its so damn good haha” I laugh

“Yea bro your a good guy and you will make it . How about that Silver ?” he asks

“Here you go bro Ten shiny Ounces thanks again”

“You know it man, see you when you get back,be safe”

I started buying the Silver Rounds a few years back after learning about Gold and Silver to try and be someone who was prepared for anything to happen to me financially.I knew I needed be someone who saved money or invested it into something to make more or at least hold on to what I have earned. I do not come from a family of money and have worked hard for every cent I have gotten.I’m not someone who asks for hand-outs and I want to be a part of what is going on and always want to bring people on board with things I am into to help us all out.
After getting let go from the City Parks job due to “Budget Cuts” along with a little over 120 other people. I was glad I did what I did and invested the money in what I did. It has helped me get by barely but still getting by.I ended up having a lovely baby girl and she has bin well taken care of because of me investing in the Silver in the first place. And formula and diapers are always on hand with out the stress. But now a few years later I am down to a lower stack and need to make a big move to try and move forward and fill my Silver stash back up. So I am basically taking  what I have left minus a few and cashing it all in a giving what I got to this Journey to Alaska . I have no idea if it is the right choice but the more I think about it I can only see it being a positive move and only good will come from it. I will find a good job. I will meet great people and I will make money to support my family without having to get on some assistance program like food stamps.Waking up and heading out to the front yard to clean up  after yesterday’s going away BBQ with some family and friends .I was reflecting on the past and all I have gone through and who has bin there for it. I have a great group of people around me and I feel very fortunate . Looking over at my “Alaska Fund” Jar full to the top with Bills of all sizes from people who wanted to help me out a little with whey could and how amazing I felt counting up the over $400 to help me on my way! Wow and thank you all! It really means a lot. 

I realize I am the Investment  and I need to continue to make good decisions financially for my future !

I leave in three days from California to start my Journey North and am I excited !

Thank you everyone for everything.

Thank you for coming by my Blog to check in and saying hello!

Tom Jr

Posted by: Tom Jr | April 26, 2012

A Wanted Stowaway

” So I talked to “J” and he said he wouldn’t mind taking me to the train station the night I leave”

“Says who? How do you know I don’t want to go” Mom says

“Hey I am going to see you off on the train I don’t know what your thinking” Lori yells

“Hey hey calm down you two ” Dad laughs

“Listen you guys how are you gonna make me choose between one or the other? Its not like you can all go and if I was going to let anyone go its gonna be the kids and well either of them can drive and well that’s just how its gonna be ” I jokingly say

The love a family has for there own is always one of the most amazing things on this planet. I feel very fortunate to have ones who love and care for me and wish nothing but the best as they know I do for them. Its hard to leave a loved one yet alone all of your loved ones for any given amount of time but the feeling of having them in your life keeps you going.The look on your child’s face when they wake up and see you for the first time that day. When you go away for a night and come home to the kids with the big smiles on there face all bright eyed and happy your home and momma saying

“The boy was ok but your daughter had a big issue last night and kept me up looking around the house for you all night here take her!” Such a precious little girl with such an amazing smile and all that joy in her is amazing.

She would be the perfect Stowaway !

The time away from home keeps a lingering mind of what is going on at home and wondering if everything is ok ?

Are the Bills being payed?

I hope they feed my dog and water the plants.

What if someone gets sick?

What if Shit Hits The Fan and I am a million miles away?

All these things and many others come into a persons head anytime they must leave there home. But you must keep your mind on track and realize why exactly you are doing what you are doing and why you are doing it. Realize that everything WILL be ok and be fine when you arrive back home.And life will keep rolling on like it always does.

When a person takes big steps  in life and has to overcome bumpy roads in a person’s life it only makes them more enlightened and stronger. This short time we are on the planet we should spend happy and intrigued with what is to come . We should take the time to ask questions and make big moves in life . You are never “To Old” to do something and if you want it go get it ! Smile a little bit more ,laugh a little more and take the time to say in a kind friendly way to a stranger  “Hello” you never know what role that person will now play in your life.

Thank you as always everyone!

Tom Jr

Posted by: Tom Jr | April 21, 2012

Set in Stone

“Well it’s done, the train ticket was payed for and its official ! ”

Hey everyone ,I hope you are all doing well and let me start by saying thank you for stopping by and keeping in touch with me and coming by to see the progress of this Fishing Journey of mine. I want to share the whole experience with everyone and be able to give everyone a glance at another person’s outlook on life.  I am really excited about what’s to come this summer and since it will be my first time to Alaska by myself and not knowing anyone up there makes the nerves get rattled a little bit.But I know myself and I will do great ! I have my family behind me pushing me to become something great in life !

The train ticket was payed for and I will be leaving California on May 9th 2012 . After what is said to be a Eighteen and a half hour train ride I will arrive in Washington State around  Seattle.I will then meet up with a friend of mine who has helped guide me the last few months in all of this and stay with him and his family for a week before I head off to Bellingham WA .My crash coarse in Commercial fishing then begins !

I will get on the ferry on Friday May 18th in Bellingham and and from there head to Ketchikan AK which is the first of the South East Alaska towns and I think a great place to start my search for a job on a fishing boat. I hopefully will get a chance in the next few years to try all or most of the Commercial Fisheries . I would really like to try Salmon Trolling or Purse Seining or work on a Tender boat for my first season but who knows what will happen in the end .

Then if need be I will hop on the ferry which is how a lot of the traveling in the area is done and head to the next fishing town! There is a lot of fishing to be done and there are many great Captain’s out there who need a “GreenHorn” and I only hope I can live up to there standards. When they see me ,take that first initial glance at me to see how I carry myself and how I look next to the boat they will grab me up and put me to the test. Keep a positive attitude is half the battle . Doing something you enjoy is the other half, Everything that comes in between is all part of the big picture.

Again thank you all !

Tom  Jr

Posted by: Tom Jr | April 18, 2012

The Fishing Journey

Overlooking the Pacific ocean

“I get money Thursday so that’s when I can pay you”

Another day at home and another day closer till the train leaves the station.

Sitting here getting all the bills in order ,the train and ferry ticket payed for. Trying to decide what the first town I should stop in? Ketchikan ?Sitka? or maybe even Jeuno?

SO many choices its hard to decide. Its hard when you know know one and this is all new to someone.

In today’s time its even harder for someone to find a good position out there. We all have issues and struggles that we must overcome in life no madder our age or background .

Between the people out of work who have bin fishing there whole life and need a job . Or that 16 yr old Son of a Captain who landed him a job on that boat for his first season without Daddy for his first “Summer job”. Or the returning seasonal fishermen .Is it all about who you know?

It would make a person in a position in life like me ask themselves

“Can I even find work in a Industry with so much history?

And all the people already in the fishing Industry is there room for another “GreenHorn”?

And with all these “Deadliest  Fishing” Tv shows or the “Alaska Gold Hunting” how many more people are doing the same thing?

Heading to Alaska for the first time is exciting to me. I cannot wait to see what I will become in the next few months. I wonder if I will find my “Spot” out there in the world making a living for my Family ?

I am a more rugged individual with a really good head on my shoulders and EVERYTHING  will work out. I keep a good attitude and I like to think I am a good person and treat everyone how I want to be treated .

I want to share my Journey with people who are doing the same thing as me or who have done the same thing as me or who have an interest in what I/we are doing or just about anyone who wants to stay around !

I am a very outgoing positive person and it will not take me long to find work.

Like my Dad says

“Son I don’t see you alone in Alaska long, your the kind of guy who fits in easy your gonna do just fine. You still might get ran over by a Moose (make sure you get THAT on camera) But you will have people around ” we smile and laugh

I reply

“Yea Dad I can see it now “Next on Big Animals running people over in Alaska” on T.V haha!” we chuckle more

Well Its now time to get more in the Pack ! And figure out how to make SMUD happy haha

Thank you very much for stopping by and say hello !

Tom Jr

Posted by: Tom Jr | March 6, 2012


“Hey Dad,look at all these guys “Selling” these extravagant fishing trips in Alaska for $3000-$6000 .Just traveling state to state with these Fishing Expo’s trying to book all there trips for the season haha”

Dad laughs and grins a little “Yea Son it would be pretty nice! To bad huh ? ”

“Haha yea Dad someday someday ! Where’s the booth around here looking for a guy like me looking for “GreenHorns” for some work ? I wonder how that works out? I am from California and we grew up on a Dairy Farm haha .I am not paying some guy to take me out and catch me a few Salmon for 5k anytime soon haha”

“Yea for sure Son WAY to much money for that . It would be bad ass you know its my dream to go to Alaska someday and hunt and fish ! Damn it would be amazing !” Dad reply’s happily

“Yea Dad someday we will both go up there and have a blast! ”

A man from behind at a Salmon Charter Fishing company steps into the conversation who had over heard

“Hey guys come here for a minute ,I won’t try and sell you a trip haha ” he laughs

“So you want to go work in Alaska? How old are you? You a felon ? Can you stay up without much sleep?”

“Well yea It would be bad ass ,hard work pays off and if you enjoy what your doing its not really a job and I am Twenty-Eight never bin arrested and I have a Newborn,a Son and a lady so sleep is rare AND also Alcohol/Drug Problem free” we all laugh and chuckle a little

“Well let me tell you a few things,first off if you want to join the fishing Industry for a season to see if its for you this is what you do. Buy your Fishing gear Head to Washington State and hop on the Ferry Don’t forget your camera. Take it to Sitka and get off. Get a commercial Deckhand fishing license and head to the boats and”Walk the Dock”  look for a Captain who charters Salmon/Halibut fishing trips for all these people around buying all these “trips” as you see here.Which by the way a lot of these charters scam the people and it cost even MORE money when you get up there.They don’t mention the high price of shipping fish back home to a lot of people so after these trips they realize they can’t afford to send home much. But for some as you know money is no option and they do it year after year after year and love every moment of it. You can make a lot of good money in a summer if your willing to work for it. You look to be healthy and in good shape so if you can cut it you can make a great living for you and your family.Sitka is one of the most Amazing places you could be and to get a chance to fish there is one of a kind! ” he thoughtfully says

As I once heard from someone  ” If you cannot find work . . . RELOCATE ” Well that is what I plan to do ! Relocate !

Well here we are five months later. And less then 30 days before I say goodbye to my Small family and friends to make a better life for us and to see what I can make of myself .I just want my chance and spot on the Small World we all share.

I am heading to Washington on a train from California . From there I am getting on the Alasken Ferry with my pack full of whatever I can carry on my back,My Grunden’s Rain Gear,Tent and Clothes and on my way up North I go. I will arrive a few days later and start my Journey as thousands others to every year for the fishing in Alaska and its waters.

I am in a position in my life to make some big changes!

I am a new Father to a Baby girl named Ariel (as that lovely lady in the ocean ) She is amazing and her Brother thinks the world of her! A  Wonderful lady who is a great mother to our children. And parent’s who want to see me become something I want to be someday and a Dad who has a dream of going to Alaska someday 😉 I am healthy in shape and have a great attitude.I love hunting and fishing as well as watching the wind blow by. I am gonna take what I have learned from the many hours spent behind this computer looking up the Who’s ,What’s ,When’s the where’s and the Do’s and DO NOT’s . And take my life to the next level .

I plan to put it out here for everyone to join me this season to see where it takes me .

I am new to all of this but will continue to have my page grow as well as well update it often. Please say hello and if you have any information or tips for me pass them along !

So thank you for stopping by and hopefully Joining me on The Journey I am about to embark on.

Tom Jr