Letter: When Satellite Phone Calls Stop

Letter: When Satellite Phone Calls Stop

Dear Megan,

I have been with my fisherman since June. He was doing 8-15 days on a hake boat and would be on land for offload – I would drive up and stay for the night he was there, as he couldn’t leave – then he would go out on the boat again. I didn’t have much problem with this because I am a full-time student. I missed him, but realistically, it worked for us. He had satellite wifi, which means sometimes we couldn’t video chat, but we could always text. He got to take October off, so I basically spent the entire month with him when I could.

The problem now is that he does black cod trips every year. Keeps him away from the drug culture on the other boats, he gets to do what he loves, and he is in a happy mental and physical space. It is a 2-6 weeks trip. Except that there is no wifi on this boat – only a sat phone he can use. He said he could call for like 15 minutes every day or perhaps every couple of days. I got a phone call on the first day, but now it’s 3 days later, I haven’t heard anything from him, the last time his vessel checked in on the marine traffic website was the same day he called. There has been a huge windstorm coming up our coast right where he is. I don’t know if I should be legitimately worried or if this is normal? I am new to this.

Perhaps a new rule? Can’t use the sat phone?
Perhaps he’s just too busy/tired

I know most girlfriends would be upset (especially my age), but I just want to know that he is safe.

Sincerely, New To This

Hi, NTT!

Thank you so much for writing. It’s great to hear from you, although I realize it’s during a trying time for you right now. First of all, IT IS NORMAL FOR YOU TO HAVE THESE FEELINGS AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I’ve been there before and will be again. There are wives who have been in the game for twenty-plus years who still get that strange tingly feeling when their men go out to sea. Unfortunately, it’s part of the territory when you’re a partner of a commercial fisherman.

Your man is probably super busy with fishing and trying to get sleep when he’s not fishing, or something is up with the Sat phone or usage of it. Chris and I recently had issues with our satellite device, and it totally sucks! Not hearing from your man when you think you should make the mind go places you never want to visit. I once heard that “Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want,” and I try to remember that when I go down the Rabbit Hole. I hope this may help you, too.

Trust that he is doing well and working hard. And know that he is 100% thinking of you! The other good news is, there is a group of women who know what you’re going through and would love to meet you, too! Please join our Private FB Group and share your story or scroll through past posts to see how other POCFs have navigated the same territory.

I’m excited for you and the love in your life. It sounds like your relationship, in general, is supportive to you, and that’s what matters most. I hope your man has a wonderful season, that you are soaking up your independence while he’s away, and that you two will enjoy those blissful days of being reunited again. Please keep me posted! And you can always email me at meganwaldrep@icloud.com if you have any other questions or just want to chat. Sending lots of love to you! Hope to see you in our FB group!

What do you relate to the most in her letter? What advice would you give someone just starting to date a fisherman? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below! 

If you liked this post, you’d love Letter: How to Manage My Emotions, Quality Time w/ Only A Few Days TogetherAddiction & Commercial Fishing.

Photo credit: Karsten Gohm

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