Diary of a POCF: Riding Solo

Diary of a POCF: Riding Solo

Every partner of a commercial fisherman quickly learns that you can’t make plans with your fisherman during a season. Since the job is dependent on the weather, and hitting it hard the first few weeks/months of the season, expecting your fisherman to show up to a group dinner, an event, or a show will only bring disappointment. Like many POCFs, you’re probably used to this by now. But as much as this happens every year, I am still surprised by it.

A few weeks ago, I got an email asking me to photograph the Van Morrison/Taj Mahal show at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The bonus of working for the local paper for so long is the connections I’ve made and the free stuff that comes with it. (The pay isn’t great, but the perks are excellent if you work it.)

When I first got the job as the editor, I wondered why we didn’t have a relationship with the SB Bowl. I asked the publisher if I could pursue it, and once I got the green light, I took off. I ended up photographing shows I’d never thought possible, like Aerosmith, Neil Young, and the Alabama Shakes, to name drop a few. So, when my request for tickets Van Morrison got approved this year, I was stoked! Along with my photo pass, I got two press tickets, too.

I didn’t think Chris could join, but of course, I asked. After a few days of pretending it may work, he said he couldn’t do it. I was hopeful but understood. I ended up going to that show and rocking out by myself as usual and “miracled” someone (or giving away the ticket for free) in the lot. One of my favorite things to do is go to a show by myself. But I’d be lying if I said not sharing these moments with Chris wasn’t kind of a bummer.

But the most important point here is, IT’S OK TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT YOUR PARTNER. I think many POCFs feel guilty for living their best lives while their partners are at sea. I sure did. The first summer we dated, I felt kind of bad about going out with my friends or going to shows while Chris was fishing in Bristol Bay, so when we’d finally connect on those brief phone calls, I would leave some stories out. It turns out Chris wanted to hear those stories. It made him feel more connected to my life, our relationship and gave him something to think about other than fishing. Honestly, I’m not sure how long our relationship would have lasted if he wasn’t “cool with it.”

So, the moral of the story is, LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE and ride solo! Don’t wait for the season to be over to do it. Please meet with your friends, go on trips, or get tickets to the show. Keep serving that independent spirit of yours because, season after season, it will always guide you through. 🐟

YouTuber btragal took this video at the Santa Barbara show.

Has this happened to you? What were some events where you had to roll solo? Please share in the comments below!

If you liked this, you’d love Diary of a POCF: The Secret Life

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