Serving the Sea

I gotta say, this video really does show “a day in the life” from our road trip. And sadly, I missed probably a third of the day as I was sitting in the boat cabin, hood over my head, eyes closed, trying desperately not to throw up. Ive been seasick before when I went it alone, but this was the first time that Dramamine failed me. And the mofo really failed me.

I missed most of the dolphins jumping, the egrets perching on the boat, the vast amount of sea life, and the diving. But I did get to hang out with Jason Woods, who would come into the cabin from time to time — pushing knobs and buttons and checking on the boat direction, while I lay there hoping that that ship would stop spinning and praying that a killer dolphin with a laser beam strapped to its head would suddenly come on deck, burst through the cabin door and relieve me of my misery. During that time Jason’s stories would help to keep my mind off the nausea.

The most interesting, I thought, was this: Jason works very hard to eliminate by-catch and the unnecessary death of any creatures, and yet this is a really dangerous job — one in which he has lost many friends over the years. Colleagues have been run over by boats, they have lost their air tanks and have passed out 20 feet down, they’ve stopped diving from injury or from fear. And Jason keeps going. It’s something he has loved since he was a little boy — when his mom brought him to a city fair to check out the cod pool and before long he was in the pool throwing the fish out of the water onto dry land.

When I asked him whether the danger of the job scares him, he told me that more people die in cars than when diving. So now his wife (a woman he has been with since he was 17) worries a bit when he leaves for work…as he drives to the ocean and then dives in.

Jason does not believe in wasting a life, and that is why he does everything he can to throw back sea animals he doesnt intend to sell or eat. Life is very much something he believes in, and fishing is something he loves. But in essence, Jason is trying to avoid unnecessary death while risking his own.