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Bering Sea Blues: A Crabber's Tale of Fear in the Icy North

Bering Sea Blues: A Crabber's Tale of Fear in the Icy North

by Joe Upton


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This a gripping memoir of a winter season of crab-fishing in the Bering Sea, filled with scary moments, killer ice, dangerous work, and-for the lucky ones-financial rewards. For others, survival was their reward. Just 25, Joe Upton was the youngest guy aboard when the 104-foot Flood Tide pulled out of Seattle in March 1971 headed for Dutch Harbor with 700-pound crab pots stacked three deep on her deck. The top-heavy load caused some anxious moments later when the vessel iced up. The crew went to work with hammers and baseball bats as howling winds roughed up the seas and the Flood Tide rolled from side to side, threatening to capsize while everyone held their breath. Bering Sea Blues is a thinking-man's book version of the TV series Deadliest Catch, because Joe Upton did a lot of thinking that winter working 12- to 14-hour days in weather that would scare most mariners away. He figured if he challenged fate in the Bering Sea crab fishery too long he would wind up either rich or dead, or both.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935347118
Publisher: Epicenter Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/15/2011
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range: 11 Years

About the Author

Joe Upton was a commercial fisherman for 25 years in Alaska and Maine. He is the author of seven books about Alaska. Joe lives with his wife on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and Vinalhaven Island, Maine.

Table of Contents

Prologue 9

1 Beginnings 21

2 Trouble on the Inside Passage 41

3 The Struggle at Cape St. Elias 59

4 "Come Into My Icy Chamber," said the Sea God 69

5 A Bering Sea Welcome 83

6 The Boys Get Ready 93

7 Tales from the Elbow Room 101

8 The Ring of Fire 115

9 We Become Crabbers 127

10 Into the Ice 141

11 In Dutch 153

12 A Bering Sea Breeze 165

13 The Siberian High 179

14 Spring in the North 189

15 The Long Days 201

16 The Job Hunters Come 209

17 Southern Waters 219

18 Back in the Saddle Again 225

19 Triple Stacked 233

20 The Hidden Canyons 255

21 Putting Your Winter Money in Your Ass Pocket 275

22 The John and Olaf 295

Epilogue 301

Index 323

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