(Half the fun is coming up with the titles)
In any event, once again we make reference to Alaska, for it was in that time and in that place where I once needed a ride to keep me from driving, while off my face, to and from a party, one day.
The party was at a cabin, far away from the main city, so I gots me a taxi to get out there, and this is my cabby’s story.
He used to be a crab boat captain, the type you see on TV. He had a boat, and a crew and everything. He lived his life at sea. Then came one fateful fortuitous year. He caught his fill in about 2 weeks. It was a record and a windfall, if he could make it to sell said crabs in Seattle as soon as it was a possibility. At least this was what his accountant/lawyer advised.
Consequently, Taxi-dude started the journey south, after a vote by his shipmates, venturing out ahead of a storm, heading south from the Bering Straight.
The trouble is he got caught. His boat was soon smothered by the blizzard coming over from Russia, and mind you his boat was already at full weight; with crabs.
The problem here was that ice forms when it’s cold and the seas storm. Ice is bad because it weighs a lot even when you’re constantly knocking it off with hammers and heat guns.
Now I’m just guessing here as my memory from 12 years ago is a bit foggy. However, I think the driver guy mentioned something about 10 tons of ice on top of his ship when he called in an alarm to the Coast Guard. The weight and the wind finally became too much for the ship and it’s inevitable demise was becoming more evident.
However, there was another problem still. The Coast Guard couldn’t send out a helicopter to the boat.
Helicopters don’t do well when ice and snow stick to their blades. Consequently, my Cabbie Captain had to wait. A Coast Guard ship was being sent to them. When it arrived, then they could be saved.
This said, in the knick of time the Coasties did arrive, but Crab Cabby’s boat was going down, and the last thing he remembers about the event is diving into the water and ice.
He woke up later in the hospital, all nestled in a bed, with hooks and wires attached to him.
Knowing all his crew were on board, along with his daughter and sons, the first question he asked a nearby nurse was: “Is everyone else that was on my boat ok?”
To which she replied, “I’m sorry, you were the only one they brought in.”
This gave my poor driver a second heart attack and with that he tumbled again into unconsciousness.
When he woke again, stabilized, a doctor was by his side. The Crab Cab Captain asked again, about his family, friends and crew and who was alive.
The doctor explained: “You were the only one that was brought in because you were the only one who was injured. We needed to save your life.”
His crew and his family were fine.
They were uninjured, though a bit traumatized.
So with this, the crabbing life and his cherished crab boat went the way of the dodo for driver dude. He decided to leave it all behind, take the insurance money and be through. It’s what his wife wanted anyways for a long time. And then, with some added motivation, he finally got in line.
Funny how almost dying at sea gives better insight.
And what did that story tell me? Well, for one, everyone has got a tale. Some just involve literal seas, storms and sinking with tons of crabs inside your hull.