Why is catching an Alaskan Halibut like protocol for a nuclear launch? Over-regulation.

Why is catching an Alaskan Halibut like protocol for a nuclear launch?  Over-regulation.

From Alaska Fish & Wildlife News, 2010:

"A little history is also in order.  The commercial and charter fisheries have been wrangling over halibut allocation since 1993.  The conflict began when the commercial stakeholders asked for a cap on charter harvest, the fastest growing segment of the sport fishery.  The problem was that charter harvest was deducted "off the top" of each year's allowable fishery removals before setting the commercial catch limit, which amounted to a de facto allocation of fish to the charter fishery.  Growth in charter harvest had to be offset by a lowering of the commercial catch limit.  The council struggled with the allocation issue for years before adopting guideline harvest levels, or GHLs, for the charter fishery in the fall of 2003." 

The Mad Monk of Astrolabe

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

The Mad Monk

Old timers have fished for salmon it seems forever.  “Traditional drags,” as the fishermen call them like Astrolabe and Icy Point or Graves Rock were just a few of the favorite fishing spots.  There were so many of them.  Each have their stories such as, “I remember back in '68 when as far as the eye could see fish were jumping.”  In a way, it was like being in the Alaskan Gold Rush.  Fish packers were madly running back and forth with their holds plugged unloading thousands of pounds of Silvers and King Salmon at the cold storages only to turn right around and return to the fishing grounds to buy more fish.  Many of the fishermen preferred to take payment for their fish in cash.  Maybe this way of doing business was a holdover from the great depression or when the banks had crashed, whatever, we all had our money jars to keep the hundred dollar bills in. At night a few of the fishermen would anchor up in a harbor called Thistle Cove.  Thistle Cove was nestled in all by itself between rocky cliffs and the mighty mountains of the Fairweather range on mainland Alaska.  There were sandy beaches surrounding the Cove and if one were to go ashore there, you would see wolf tracks in the sand.  Beachcombing was a favorite thing to do if the weather was to bad to go out fishing and it was not uncommon to find a Japanese glass float peaking out at you half buried in the sand or from under some drift wood.  At night sometimes you could hear the wolves howling and if the fisherman looked up towards the top of the rocky cliffs, he might see the flickering of the fires that came out of the Monk's caves.  Legend has it, that the Monk of Astrolbe lived up there.  It has always been that way and if you were a salmon troller it was easy to believe that this legend was true and that some day, you would get to meet him. 

“The Mad Monk of Astrolabe”

High upon the craggy mountains
That we call Astrolabe,
Where his temple fires are blazing,
With the fog around him ringing
Sunken eyes are ever gazing
Out across the sea.

It was early in September
And the fog was like a shroud,
I was anchored where the ocean
Seemed devoid of any motion
And I somehow got the notion
I was anchored in a cloud.

As the days increased in number
And my magazines were read,
Then my mind began to wander
Crazy notions I would ponder,
Thinking everything was dead.

It was then I heard the chanting,
Stood there trembling, agog,
Like an organ's hollow groaning,
Like the souls in hell atoning,
Down the crevices came moaning
Like a death march through the fog.


Like a lorelei it beckoned
And I hastened to obey,
While across the harbor rowing
Heard the chant in volume growing,
Yes, My Master led the way.

Up through canyons strewn with boulders,
Over ledges dripping slime,
Never with a fear of falling,
Nor of him, whose voice was calling,

Up I climbed to heights appalling,
Dripping bold and black with grime.

On a ledge I lay exhausted,
Gulping every painful breath.
Then I saw his black robe waving,
Saw the bloodless lips whose raving
Sent me scrambling and slaving,
Up that rocky mound of death.

On a crag above a chasm,
Where a flaming tourch was lit,
With the fog around him weaving
Patterns ghastly and deceiving,
Stood the maddened monk, receiving
Tribute for his endless pit.

Single file they passed his station,
Fishermen of yesterday,
Shrunken bodies, white and hairy,
Bent neath loads they scarce could carry,
One by one they passed the quarry,
Dropped their burdens, turned away.

Then I recognized a passer,
Who had died at Killisnoo.
In my eyes the sweat was streaming,
As my questions I was screaming,
Was it all un-holy dreaming
Or were my visions true?

With no sign of recognition,
Came the answer of my friend,
“You must always go cruising
For the leads of life you're losing
Though it be against your choosing,
All must tally in the end.

Round each sunken rock we're searching
For the sinkers we have lost,
Seeking on the ocean's flooring,
Far beneath the breakers roaring,
In the muddy slime we're boring,
In this pit must all be tossed

Best you heed my solemn warning,
Pack your duffle, leave the sea,
Leave your ways of dissipation,
Find a different occupation,
Or you will join that congregation,
On the hill Astrolabe.

The Mad Monk of Astrolabe was written sometime around the early
1950's by Bill Edgecombe.  I'm not absolutely sure about this, just
a guess.

The Astrolabe drag was often fished in the early spring.  In April
there just weren't that many fishermen west of Cape Spencer but the
commercial season was open then and there was always a chance that
there would be a stretch of good weather, making it possible for a
fisherman to make the charge up to the Fairweather grounds and maybe
get a few good days of hot King salmon fishing.  Meanwhile, you fished
Astrolabe or Graves Harbor waiting for a good weather report and
scratched out some kind of a living wage.  Somedays you got nothing,
that was fishing for you.  Other days, you might get a few fish.  I
really needed the money then, especially after spending a long winter
with no money coming in at all.  I remember trolling right alongside
the rocky cliffs of Astrolabe waiting for a fish to bite.  Back and
forth, all day long.  Meanwhile, you could watch the goats who were way
up on the side of the mountain.   Often times there were baby goats
with their mothers.  There were seals and sea lions to see also and
once in a while humpback whales.  Back and forth, back and forth and
then suddenly a trolling pole would start shaking, “Fish On!!!!” With
the Mad Monk of Astrolabe in mind I was careful not to hang up on the
bottom and lose any expensive lead cannonballs.  However, I did lose my
share of them through the years.  The prospects of dying a salmon
troller and having to spend eternity going around the ocean floor
finding lead cannonballs and then having to lug them up those steep
cliffs of Astrolabe to the Mad Monk didn't appeal to me at all.  In
time I retired from fishing and decided to invest what little I had
into Mexico.  It seemed like it might be a more profitable venture than
trolling for salmon, at least for me.  Thats another story however.
Meanwhile, I hope when the day comes that I die, I will be exempt from
having to carry heavy leads from the bottom of the ocean to the top of
Astrolabe.  It looks like a lot of work to me.

By Paul Corbin

Morning Bite

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

Morning Bite

The fisherman could see the mast lights shining from the other trollers still anchored up in the protected harbor on the rugged coast of  southeast Alaska.  Some of the mast lights were moving now, looking like fireflies in the night, flying single file one after another.  It was time to get the fishing gear in.  The fisherman went back to the trolling pit and pulled back the wet gunny sacks that covered coils of 12 to 16 foot long monofilament leaders.  Each leader had a big“snap on” clamp on one end and a flasher or spoon at the other.  He checked the herring bucket to make sure his baited hooks were ready to snap on, one herring for each flasher.  He lifted the first 30 lb. lead ball up from its holder and slowly let the lead down with the hydraulic gurdey.  The lead ball was attached to a spool of steel trolling cable which had small stops crimped on the line every three fathoms.  As the cable descended into the dark ocean water and a crimped stop would appear the fisherman snapped on a leader with a flasher and a herring or a colored hoochey on it.  One by one he got his hooks in the water.  Occasionally the fisherman would check his fathometer to make sure he was staying in the right depth of water.  He repeated this process until he had four trolling lines set in the ocean, each at about 30 fathoms in depth.
   
He went up to the pilot house and picked up his cold cup of coffee and lit up a cigarette, now it would be time to wait for that first morning bite.  The diesel engine chugged away as the boat worked its way along the shoreline.  It wouldn't be long now before daylight comes he thought.  He looked again at the trolling pole tips, nothing, where in the hell are the fish he thought?  Today it would be a nice ocean, just a gentle swell from the southwest and no wind.  A couple of seagull lifted off the ocean to get out of the trollers' way and set down again just off the boats stern, hoping to get a handout of discarded herring.  Other fishing boats were beginning to arrive on the fishing drag and started to put out their gear.  The ocean was still.  As the fisherman watched the fathometer he suddenly had to turn out to avoid some shallow ground.  No use in losing a line and expensive fishing gear he thought, got to be more careful, come on fish, BITE!!!
   
The sun was just casting its first morning rays on the calm ocean when the salmon struck the herring.  The trolling pole started to shake as the huge salmon tugged away trying to escape the herring that had the hidden hooks in it.  The fisherman waited awhile before going back to the fishing pit to pull the salmon in.  You could never tell, another one might hit the trolling line and then another, why pull all that gear in for just one fish when instead you could catch three or four in one pull.  He waited and was about to bring in the trolling line which had the fish on when the trolling pole on the opposite side of the boat started to shake.  YES!!!! he thought.  He started to pull in the first line when another trolling line started to yank and pulled way back behind the stern of the troller.  “Holy Shit!!!!” he thought, the bite is on.
   
By midmorning two fish bins were full of large king salmon.  The deck of the troller was wet with salt water from the wash down hose and blood was flowing out of the boat's scuppers.  The fisherman was getting pretty tired and wanted a cup of hot coffee and a cigarette but knew he couldn't quit working, at least not while the morning bite was on.  He just had to keep pulling in King salmon as long as they were biting.  All day he worked the lines, pulling them in to gaff a salmon and bring it onboard or just to replace old
herring with a new herring and then let the fishing gear back down again. It was almost sunset when he finally pulled in the last of the fishing gear and ran the troller into a nearby harbor for the night.  He still had to ice all the salmon in the ice hold and then maybe rustle up a little something to eat for his dinner before falling into the bunk. It had been a long day and as he laid in his bunk that night drifting off to sleep, he remembered the days when he was attending law school at the university.  I could have gone into law he thought, but somehow this was okay too, and he smiled, thinking that this hadn't been such a bad day at all.

By Paul Corbin

The Blue Light

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!                                        

The Blue Light

The SE Alaskan winters are often long with lots of rain and snow.  There are days when the boat harbors freeze over and even some of the fjords that lead in from the sea.  Nothing moves.  No boats or planes.  Everything is still and silent.  There are no distant sounds of traffic or rumble of freight trains like it is in the cities.  If you step outside, all you will hear is the crunch of your boot in the snow.  The fishermen who live aboard their boats do the best they can to stay warm.  If you are lucky enough to have shore power at the dock and a good oil stove in the galley its not to bad but the lifestyle is not for everyone.  Those that try it beware!!!

At night when you are lying in your bunk you can hear the small fan running that helps the fire pot in the stove generate some heat.  It's sort of like a miniature blast furnace.  The fisherman can also hear the rat-rigging slapping away against the mast directly above his head.  Bang, bang, bang, all night long while the wind whistles through the stays playing all sorts of tunes that seem to be messages from hell.  The boat lurches against the dock and tugs frantically at its mooring lines and the ice up in the rigging keeps crashing down from time to time on the snow covered decks.  The empty whiskey bottle rolls back and forth on the boat's galley floor while you try and get some sleep.  At times you get up from the bunk and check the stove to make sure the fire is still going and pour yourself a cup of two-day old boiled coffee and light up a cigarette.  Another long night in the boat harbor.  The fisherman thinks, "I wish to hell it would hurry up and be daylight".  Winters in SE Alaska are long and hard, especially if you are living in the small space of a fishing boat, like my friend Jack did for many years.

During the daylight hours he might read a book or tie up some fishing leaders. One winter he looked out the pilot house window and saw about six inches of snow on the dock.  There were no footprints anywhere and he turned back to reading his book and lit up one more cigarette and waited.  It won't be long now Jack thought, just a couple more hours and then the blue light will come on.  Everyday he waited for the blue light to come on which is near the top of the ramp that leads up from the docks.  Finally he saw the blue light, a neon 'open' sign in the local liquor store.  He put on a coat, picked up his hat, opened the pilot house door and stepped out on the dock.  The snow was deeper than he thought.  Snow was falling much heavier now and his footprints were fast disappearing as he walked up the ramp toward the lonely blue light that shone out in the cold mist.   I have to be careful not to slip and fall he thought as he slowly made his way up the ramp.  Finally, he reached the door of the liquor store and stood for a moment to brush the snow off his coat and hat.  When he walked into the small room the clerk looked up and said, “You look like a snowman Jack, It's one hell of a storm out there, what can I get you?” “I guess I'll need a bottle of Jim Beam and a six pac of coke”, Jack replied.  “You bought the last bottle of Beam last night Jack.  I'm sorry about that but we haven't had a plane from town for at least two weeks and the fact is I'm running short on everything".  "I have a couple of bottles of Wild Turkey left, It's not that bad really.” The fisherman thought abit and said, "I'll take the two bottles then.”  One never really knew when the next airplane from town would make it out and it might be best to have that extra bottle just in case.  When Jack left the store he saw that the snow was coming down even harder.  By this time it was almost dark again and the blue light glowed across the boardwalk making the snow a beautiful sparkling blue color.  The wind had come up again and as he walked back towards his boat he noticed that the docks were rocking from side to side, making it difficult for him to keep his balance.  Suddenly, one of the bottles slipped out of the paper bag he carried.  As he tried to grab and save the bottle from falling in the water he slipped and fell hard on the edge of the dock. While  Struggling to hold on to the edge of the dock and get back on his feet, he slipped again on the dock and fell into the water.

The water was icy cold.  He set the saved bottle of Wild Turkey  carefully up on the dock.  At least it didn't break, he thought.  The level of the dock was about two feet above the water and when he tried to pull himself up he quickly fell back in.  Alaskan waters are cold and as Jack tried to pull himself up to the safety of the dock he could only lift himself a little ways out of the cold freezing water when he would fall back in again.  His clothes and heavy coat were soaked and his rubber boots were filled with water.  He rested and then tried to lift himself up on the dock once again.  Suddenly he felt very tired.  The water didn't seem so cold now and as he turned his head up he could see the blue light.  It sort of looked pretty all by itself with the snow coming down.  He thought about a Christmas he had spent years ago when he was a little boy.

The next day brought clear cold skys and calm still water.  The harbor master found two bottles of Wild Turkey standing straight up like popcicles in the snow.

Bear

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

The smell of gun oil and the feel of the rifle pressed against my cheek was all I could sense in what was timeless space.  Stay calm, I told myself, safety is off, keep your eye on the back and front sights, whatever you do don’t move.  My finger rested on the trigger waiting for what ever was going to happen.  The bear stood up testing the wind, sniffing this way and then turning his huge head the other way.  He dropped down on all fours and then stood up again looking straight at me.  He was about 30 feet from me and could be on top of me in a leap or two.  I thought to myself, “Dammit!!! don’t do it. Please bear just go away, I don’t want to shoot you”.  The bear was a sleek black brown color and huge.  A beautiful animal who ruled in this part of Southeastern Alaska.  He stood up again sniffing the air, trying to figure out what it was standing in front of him.  I believe this bear probably had never seen a human being before.  Finally, the huge bear dropped down and turned sideways, moving slowly away as he looked back at this strange creature who had appeared in his territory.  He crossed the muskeg and disappeared from view.  After a bit, I decided it was time to return to the cabin; after all, it was almost dinner time and
we had guests to feed.

 

Oso Pete

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

Oso Pete

I was down in the ground, digging an outhouse hole behind the cabin when I heard a voice above me say, “if you dig any deeper son, you'll hit water.”  Thats when I first met Oso Pete.  Oso was from Norway and years before had boarded a sailing ship as a common seaman.  He jumped ship in Australia and somehow ended up in Alaska.  He knew every block, tackle and sail that existed on a square rigger and even at his age he could tell you what rope or rigging was called or the name of any sail on one of these ships.  Oso lived in a tiny skid house down the beach from me about a mile or so away.  He was a short, squat man with a lined face from many years on the sea and had a good humor about him.  His way of telling stories was funny and it was nice to be able to talk to somebody like Oso after being alone for so long at the cabin.  He told me that he had his mice and chipmunk friends who would come right up in his lap to be fed.  He had a troller and fished for salmon in the summers.  In the winter months he more often than not would take his boat out to a remote hot springs and anchor up in a secret cove well protected from the winter storms.  Most every day would find Oso soaking away in the natural rock pool of the hot springs.  He also drank the mineral water saying it was good for his constitution and told me that I should try it.  I guess I wasn't tough enough as I just couldn't get it down.  Oso lived for many years and was a good friend to everybody that knew him.  I'm not sure how old he was when he passed on but I always felt lucky to know a man from the old world of adventurous spirits and sailing ships which was fast disappearing from the world we live in today.

Gus

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

GUS


   Old Gus lived on his boat and mostly kept to himself.  He was
   getting on in years but still was able to untie his troller from
   the dock and go out and fish in the pass for salmon.  When he got
   tired, he would come back into the harbor, tie up the boat and
   disappear down into the focsle.  Nobody knew much about Gus except
   that he liked to read what books people gave him, and newspapers,
   and old magazines.  Once in awhile,  he would come up to the
   general store to buy a few groceries but that was about it.  There
   was no doubt that Gus was a man of few words.  However, he was
   always polite in greeting somebody on the boardwalk saying not much
   more than a good day with a nod of his shaggy head.  One day Gus
   headed out of the harbor but did not return.  After several days,
   people began to wonder if old Gus was alright and where he might
   be.  For days the other fishermen kept an eye out for the missing
   boat but with no luck.  Several weeks went by but still no sign of
   Gus or his boat.  More time went by until finally one day another
   fisherman spotted the boat anchored up in a remote cove.  The
   fisherman dropped his anchor and rowed in his punt over to Gus's
   boat to see if everything was alright.  When he came alongside, Gus
   stepped out of the pilot house.  The fisherman said,” Gus, are you
   alright?”  Gus replied, “Yaaah, I'm fine.”  Gus then explained why
   he had not returned to the boat harbor.  It seems that he had
   decided to drop his anchor and take a nap for awhile.  It was then,
   after the anchor was down, that Gus discovered a bird’s nest
   directly under the anchor roller on the bow of the boat  As he
   looked into the nest, he saw several tiny birds eggs in it.  It
   wasn't long before the mother bird flew by and landed near the
   nest.  After awhile, Gus decided to spend the night there and see
   what would happen. He knew that if he raised the anchor, there
   would be a good chance of destroying the nest and crushing the tiny
   eggs in it and so when morning came, he decided to stay a while
   longer.  It wasn't long before Gus resolved to wait until the baby
   birds hatched.  This decision would prove to turn out to be a long
   wait.  Ole Gus hardly had any food left or water either but he was
   set on sticking by his decision.  Fortunately, the other fisherman
   who discovered Gus and his boat gave him some food and water before
   returning to the boat harbor.  Word got out about the nest and the
   baby birds that were due to hatch.  Soon, some of the other folks
   of the tiny fishing community would bring food and water to where
   Gus was anchored and look at the eggs.  Everybody, it seemed, was
   waiting for the baby birds to hatch out of those tiny eggs.  The
   day did arrive of course. And Mama bird was busy feeding her young
   babies.  Gus had to wait for the young birds to grow up enough to
   learn how to fly.  He didn't seem to mind though.  The good ladies
   of the fishing community were mother-henning those baby birds
   bringing Gus some pretty nice home made pies and cakes. He probably
   never ate so good or had so much good company in his entire life.

The Salmon

The Salmon

The trolling line was taut and leading away from the boat’s starboard side.  It  was a huge fish and the fisherman tensed up, gripping the gaff hook tighter in his right hand.  This had to be the granddaddy of them all, he thought, as he held the line in his hands.  Gradually he eased the fish closer to the boat hoping to get a clear hit with the back of the gaff hook on the head of the huge fish.

The Fur Coat

Paul Corbin came to Alaska many years ago to commercially fish for salmon.  The lifestyle suited him and he had many boats, caught many fish, raised a family and maintained a wilderness homestead in a remote area of southeast Alaska that would become Lisianski Inlet Lodge.  Here is his story, enjoy!

The old timers have so many stories to tell about the gold mines in Southeastern Alaska when people started coming into the territory from all over the world.  They tell about the fishing communities, the canneries, and the fish traps.  If you go back further in time, you have the Sea Otter trade and the Russians and, of course, the native people who have lived here forever.  

My grandfather spent nine years in the Alaskan gold rush and so when I finally arrived in Alaska I made it my home.  Instead of mining for gold, I became a commercial fisherman, finding gold in the form of huge king salmon.  It was a good time to check out of mainstream America, which I did for several years, and I was lucky to find a good hideout in the Southeast Alaskan Archipelago.  

It was a quiet place and very peaceful.  Flood tide dictated the main fishing time and when the tide started to ebb the fishermen headed back to the cove (Elfin Cove) for the day which often led to plenty of time to paint spoons (fishing lures) on the dock or tie up leaders.  

Agnes, an old retired schoolmarm, owned a small hostel and often cooked meals for fishermen after their long day of trolling for salmon.  She was famous for her cooking and would usually have a home made pie fresh out of the oven.  If Agnes liked you, you got a bigger piece of pie than the other fellow.  Fishermen eyeballed the other mans pie to make sure he got his fair share.  The rest of the world out there did not exist for these people and for awhile at least, it was just like that.  

Along with the small fishing communities, there also were the various fish camps operating during the main summer months.  The fishing fleet had a tendency to migrate to the west, wandering west of Cape Spencer mainly in August to chase silvers.  The smaller trollers day trolled and sold their catch to fish buyers who in turn packed the fish in ice and ran them into towns like Juneau or Sitka and returned with mail, barrel’s of white gas, groceries and fishing gear.  It was possible to spend the entire summer in a fish camp located in a remote cove somewhere on the rugged coast of Southeast Alaska.  

When Fall time came the fishermen started talking about getting the winter's supply of deer meat put up.  There was lots to do what with cutting extra wood for winter and smoking salmon.  The women were busy picking blueberries and making sure that there were enough canned vegetables and fruit and flour for baking bread.  Often the winters were long and cold with lots of snow.  

If you happened to live in a town and cabin fever set in there were always the bars to visit.  They were warm and alcohol was plentiful.  Everybody mostly knew each other and one could sit and excchange fishing stories, or if you knew another person well you might get a different kind of story.... Sven was one of those people and one night he got talking about how he had grown up in Alaska. 

THE FUR COAT

Sven grew up in Sitka.  He was raised by his father and stepmother, Olaf and Lilly.  Olaf had been a sucessful business man involed in fish buying and the brokering of salmon to buyers both in the States and Europe.  His wife had passed on when Sven was a baby.  In time, Olaf met and married Lilly who was a beautiful young woman, half Tlingit and half Russian.  They lived in a house in the village right next to the channel and protected boat harbor.  The couple liked to party and spent most of their time in the local bars leaving Sven to fend for himself.  One day, Lilly saw a beautiful fur coat for sale in the local furrier shop.  Lilly loved that coat and knew she had to have it.  Olaf at that time still had some money even though he was semi-retired and fast trading his business profession over for a good bottle of vodka.  After weeks of badgering from Lilly about buying the coat, Olaf relented and bought the fur coat for $8,000.00.  After a time, Olaf would often bring up the subject of the coat in public, telling how he had bought it for Lilly and how much it cost.  He would also ridicule her about wearing it wherever she went and as his personal finances diminished, he would say, “if you had not made me buy that goddamed thing, we would have that extra money today.”  On and on it went.  One night Olaf and Lilly were out drinking at their favorite bar.  Things were not going too well for them and folks noticed that the couple seemed to spend more and more time arguing with each other.  On this night, Lilly suddenly left the bar around midnight and did not return.

It was a sobering moment the next morning when a police sergeant with a note book stood in Lilly's kitchen by the sink gazing out at the channel through a small open window with the morning sun streaming through it.  He could hear the seagulls on the docks crying away over whatever morning breakfast they could find.  He bent over closer to examine the little pieces of fur scattered around the room and noticed the scizzors on the table.  “She sure did a hell of a job on that fur coat,” he thought, "there wasn't much left of that coat.”  “Hey Pete,” a deputy called, “are you about through in there?”  “Yeah, go ahead and cut her down, Jim.”  He thought to himself, “I've seen some strange things in my years but this beats all, I have never seen anybody cut up a fur coat into thousands of pieces and then hang themselves with a piece of halibut groundline.”  As the sergeant passed the deputy and coroner on their way into the kitchen to let Lilly down from the wood beam he thought about how maybe he should just take the day off and go fishing.  It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day and one might as well take advantage of the weather, we don't get that many nice days up here.