Fishermen’s Blog Log
2014 Season

model of the F/V Kruzof

Model of Kruzof built by Randy Holmberg

Previous Blog Logs:

 

 

December

We attended Council meetings in December which included the issue of using traps or not in the gulf to fish Sablefish. Then home for the holidays.

It was a challenging year, but at the end of the day we have comfort in knowing we can endure all things through Christ who strengthens us and gives us peace. Merry Christmas!

 

F/V Kruzof with Christmas lights

Rhonda in front of her Christmas tree

 

November

We visited Jim’s sister in West Virginia and attended customer appreciation day at her farmer’s market in Winchester where some of our seafood is sold. From there we went to Seattle and attended Vessel Insurance meetings and the Pacific Marine Expo.

 

Farmer's Market vendors
Farmers Market in Winchester, Va
Jim and Rhonda at farmer's market
Farmers Market in Winchester, Va

 

Farmer's Market vendors
The Mayfair Farm family- Danny, Philip, Dana, and Beth Nowak with Jim and Rhonda
Jim, Scott & Shan at the Pacific Marine Expo
Jim, Scott, and his wife to be, Shannalyn West at the PME

 

October

Boat yard work in Seward by Vigor, the new shipyard owners in Seward. Plus we had the fish holds re-coated by Raibow Industrial, and interior painting done by Mike Ritz of Alaska Marine Coatings, Seward’s new professional Industrial painter.

Farmer's Market vendors
The Mariner’s Memorial in Seward- Rhonda served on the committee that is guiding its development to help memorialize those lost from our maritime community
F/V Kruzof being painted
Out of the water for a paint job at Vigor Industrial in Seward

 

June - September

The Kruzof launched into its fishing season, Fishing 3A, 3B halibut, CG, WY, SE , Chatham and Clarence B.cod. Meanwhile, Rhonda held down the home and office, hosting industry, visitors, selling fish, attended some industry meetings.

Peter Micciche signed bill SB 71
Attending a Bill signing that I pushed to get passed. It cleared up a regulatory conflict with statute that industry kept tripping over
Agri-Business Tour Group Photo

Farmers from the Mid-west hosted by an Agri-Business Tour Group, connected with me to show them how we do it with fish in Seward

 

Crew offloading halibut
Scott and Pavel overseeing one of the halibut offloads
AK Black Cod market booth
One of my buyers at the Saturday Market, Richie Clarke with Alaska Blackcod

 

On September 26th, just days after our last fishing trip we rushed to attend the 40th Anniversary of the United Fishermen of Alaska. To our surprise Jim and I were voted as Fishermen of the year for 2014. We were so surprised, yet thought what a way to be restored after false accusations and a trial brought on us by the State. The award was well received!

Click here for more information about the award.

Peter Micciche signed bill SB 71
Jim and Rhonda receiving the UFA Fishermen of the Year award
Fishing crew with a big sablefish
Catching big sablefish in the gulf with crew members, Pavel, Paul, and Scott

 

May

After the trial we took a much needed vacation together. We went to Yakima to celebrate the life of Jim’s Mom who passed in March. Then included visits to friends in Eastern Washington and Oregon.

April

After evidentiary hearings, filed motions and postponements by the State DA, our trial finally got started in front of a local jury in Seward. It was one of more nerve racking. surreal events in our life to date, and unfolded like a movie script before our eyes. Our attorney team was well prepared and all my records spanning over the 5 years in question proved clearly worthy of our innocence.

Click here to read local press releases about the trial.

Dining Room Table of Records
Dining Room Table of Records
Trial discovery
Trial discovery

 

The 12 felony charges on Jim never held water and were dropped during the trial, then on April 15th the judge and jury had us exonerated from all charges. It was so unfortunate how a few state workers were able to use up so much state resources to try and make nothing into something, then be caught in embarrassing lies and ineptness in their duties. While this certainly cost us a lot in defense funds, it was worth having the career state and fishing industry troublemaker, Mr. Cottongim finally removed from his post.

While our trial was being conducted, the oil response Serves Training was going on. This was the first time ever that Jim had the boat leave the dock without him. We were thoroughly exhausted, yet hugely relieved from enduring such an unjust burden. We thank the Lord for blessing us with the strength and resources to persevere and prevail.

February - March

Jim brought the boat back from Seattle with the crew, then went right to work on a P.cod trip then a Halibut trip on opening day while Rhonda took a trip to Mexico with a friend. Both activities were a nice diversion as we waited to go to trial with the State and defend ourselves against a witch-hunt they launched on us that lasted 3.5 years.

Rhonda & Dot
Rhonda and Dot
Glaciers in Prince William Sound
Fishing near the glaciers for p.cod in Prince William Sound.

 

January

After the holidays Jim came and went from Alaska to Seattle to finish up boat repairs and prep the vessel to head back north.

F/V Krusof in Seattle
Resting at the West wall at Fishermen's Terminal in Seattle