The Dreaded Conversation With My Captain

posted: 08/12/15
Amy Leaves Wizard

The dreaded conversation with my captain.

"I feel and look like death warmed over, and I just cannot continue to do this to my body. I need to go see a doctor," I finally owned up to our cameraman, when he told me that captain Keith was planning on having a discussion with me very soon. Just then, I hear my name on the loudspeaker. "Amy, why don't you get your gear off and come in to the galley. We need to have a little talk." I knew exactly what this conversation would entail.

Both cameramen followed me into the galley, as I grabbed a seat at the table. In walks Keith. "Oh here we go, this is the dreaded talk I knew was bound to come sooner or later." I muttered to myself while acting cool as a cucumber. Or attempting to anyways. "You're working your ass off out there, but your worst enemy isn't yourself right now, it's this boat." I'm surprised at the way he's talking to me right now, because this is generally not at all the way he talks to his greenhorns when he sits them down to discuss their future onboard the Wizard. "I'm trying as hard as I can, you know this, Keith, but there are some things that I will never be able to do. I think we both know that no matter how many weights I lift, or protein shakes I drink, lifting those heavy shots of line on top of the pots will never be in my job description. It's just impossible for me to do." He looks me in the eyes, and we both know what is coming next."Do you think you can make another trip? Because right now, I feel like you cannot. I'm not firing you, and I know you are far too stubborn to quit, so lets just call this a coming to the mutual realization of your physical capabilities or lack there of." I looked down at my swollen knuckles, and how purple they were, looked up, and shook my head in agreement. I honestly wanted to cry when he said that, but I couldn't let them catch my female emotions running rampant on film. It was time to call in the crew.

The guys all took a seat at the table, and I could tell by the looks on each of their faces, that they also knew what this little discussion was about. "Amy and I have both decided that her physical limitations are slowing the boat down. She isn't quitting, let's make that clear right now." They all acted surprised. "I'm not firing her either." You could hear a pin drop. "We are letting her go, and I have another greenhorn flying into St. Paul in the morning to take her place." "I'm beat to hell and back," I spoke into the camera as I packed my sea bag and readied myself for the long flight back to the lower 48. "We both reached an amicable conclusion as you well know." "Will you come back up for another trip?" Tom asks while patiently awaiting my reply. "My health is of the utmost importance right now. If they want me back after I take care of that, then I will be on the next flight back to Dutch."

That was that. Everyone was in awe of how well Keith and I had handled the situation, and how gracefully I had bowed down. After signing the gear room wall, I gave the crew hugs, and told them how much I appreciated their understanding, and all of their help. Also, how grateful I was to have had this opportunity which had changed the course of my life. "I pray that this new guy works out for you guys, as I know how badly you guys want to get rid of the woman on the boat. Good luck on your next trip and be safe out there." That was the end of that. I stepped up the ladder and onto the dock, looking back only once.

I never wanted to let anyone down by coming up to the Bering Sea and fishing for crab in the dead of winter on the Wizard, and I don't think I have. Instead, I think I've done exactly the opposite. I've enlightened people to do what they want in life, and to become who they want to be, regardless of gender. I did this for all the people who said I could never hack it out here-Southeast seiner buddies included-but mostly, I had to do this for myself. I came up here with a plan, I followed through to the best of my potential, and am now eager to see where it takes me. I'm empowered and feel like everything I've done until now has led up to this defining moment. For now, Tough Girl is signing off from Unalaska. Its time to move on to the next adventure. Maybe all this girl needs is a week of rest and antibiotics before flying back to Dutch. I guess we will just have to wait and see. People anticipated my failure after the first shift. Ha! I showed them!

Upon my arrival home to see mommy-something that even the toughest of crabbers admit to doing once the season is over, so don't judge-I was able to catch some zzz's and heal up almost entirely. The new greenhorn that took my place only lasted a day, before I received a phone call from Monte. "We need you back. When can you jump on a plane?"

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