Communication is one of the biggest pain points for partners of commercial fishermen because it is ALWAYS a challenge. Missed calls, dropped calls, staticky, too – we know how frustrating it can be. I polled our private FB group and my Instagram stories to find the top ways other POCFs connect with their fishermen. Although trying to reach our fishermen can feel torturous at times, imagine what it was like pre-cell phones, the way Jenny Gore Dwyer, formerly of Deadliest Catch, had to do it:
“If you wanted to call someone to commiserate with, you only had the marine operator, and everyone could hear your conversation. Your other option was to get in line for the payphone when you were in town, where everyone could listen to your conversation. Plus, it was hard to whine and complain when you have ten people waiting to use the phone, and they can hear you! So, you learned to figure it out on the boat.” – Jenny Gore Dwyer, formerly of Deadliest Catch.
Whew! That would be a pain in the ass! Especially since many fishermen aren’t off the boat until the end of a season. I need to remember that next time Chris and I have a bad cell connection. Sure, asking “can you hear me now” repeatedly gets SUPER old. But knowing our partners are alive is all we really need. Right?
Speaking of, how do you best communicate with your fisherman? Which tools work best for you, or are there others not mentioned? We’d love to know! Please share in the comments below!
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Chris and I use an InReach during lobster season and when he remembers to bring it to Bristol Bay.🤪 The Garmin InReach is a, "two-way satellite communicator that works where cell phones don't. It uses the Iridium satellite network, which has pole-to-pole coverage, to send and receive data." He'll text me from AK to check in, or to message me when he's coming home at the end of the day from lobstering in CA. The satellite phones are pricey, but knowing where you fisherman is is SO WORTH IT.
Great for peeps without unlimited text service, WhatsAPP works with iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphone users to send text, image, video and audio messages FOR FREE! Just make sure your fisherman has it downloaded before he takes off.
During a 6 week season in Bristol Bay, I'll send Chris at least 2 care packages during that time. Click the link for baked good ideas, and look for internal links to help you address the package and where to send!
Care Package 411
I like to leave long, rambling messages to Chris when I miss him. I tell him about my day, funny things that happened, updates with work and family. Even though they're stuck on a boat, hearing about your day-to-day life helps them feel connected and closer to home (and maybe more sane, too)!
Text with Emojis
There's just something about getting a 🥰 or 😘 or 💋 to brighten up the day. Sometimes I just send my favorite emoji combo to check in. Even if they don't get it immediately, it will eventually bring a smile or a laugh depending on what you send. 👉🏽👌🏽 🤣
Nothing's worse than unloading the day to your partner then – before you can share the good stuff – the call drops and you're stuck feeling guilty until the next call. I've been there and it sucks! POCF Hannah Samsen suggests to write in a journal when you're feeling frustrated or sad. What a great idea to process your feelings instead of your partner carrying the load...on top of what he's already carrying. Use this to write down important items you'd like to discuss when they're back and settled on dry land.