October in Review

As I mentioned in my September in Review post, I was flown back to Seattle early to “turn and burn” as our fleets are between fishing mini-seasons. “Turn and burn” means we go back to Seattle to debrief, brief for a new contract, and be sent back out right away, although “right away” can mean anything from a few days to a few weeks: whenever there’s a boat for us.

After each contract, our data is reviewed and our performance is evaluated and discussed in debriefing. Before we can even meet with our assigned “debriefer,” we must check our paper data to the computer data (literally every single point to make sure it’s the same, it takes forever), test our scales, clean our gear, fill out vessel surveys, and prepare our specimens. My debriefer was really awesome and understanding of first-time mistakes, but I was told I did well for my first contract and am very organized (no surprise on the latter part). The very next day, I was put in a briefing class, which just reviews any changes or additional special projects since our last contract and is the time to check out your gear.


Between days in the office, I enjoyed my time in Seattle with drinks with other observers, all the takeaway I could handle and two gigs. What luck the two of my favorite music artists were playing in Seattle within days of each other!

First, I saw Marina and the Diamonds. This is my third time seeing her live, but first time in the U.S. and first time since I got my tattoo inspired by her music. It was a pretty good show, I really enjoyed the addition of the dancers, but I much prefer her last show in London with the unbeatable setlist and production. Also, I’m not crazy about her new album, although it is growing on me.

The second show I went to was Senses Fail, who I will always site as my all-time favorite band (along with Rise Against, is it okay to have two all-time favorite bands?). This is my tenth time seeing them (basically annually since my first time seeing them in 2011) and third time in 2019 alone. But this tour was different: this was the re-release of their first EP, which they played in full. I haven’t seen them live in a venue that small in about 5 years, so it was a great, sweaty time, even though their setlist was cut a little short. I got a comfortable, adorable sweater that I have yet to get fish guts all over and I intend to keep it entrail-free.


Found on Twitter from the Portland show

On the 12th, I was flown out to Kodiak where my boat picked me up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to explore Kodiak as a car is required. We set off that night to King Cove where we took cover for a few days before fishing.


My boat has been… okay. My last boat was one of the best in our fleet (the one where I got my own room with a TV, every meal cooked for me, a workout bike) so any compared to it would have been a step down, but on this boat sampling is difficult (limited space, no table so I have to sit on the deck, etc.) and it’s not the cleanest, best-smelling vessel, either. This boat is usually meant for partial coverage employees (who go on smaller boats for shorter periods of time) so I literally didn’t sign up for this! However, I am getting a new boat as soon as we get back to Kodiak, although I don’t think it’ll be too much better. At least I have potential travel plans to look forward to after Christmas.


October in Review 2018 || October in Review 2017 || October in Review 2016

What I’m watching: Rotten (season 2), Slumdog Millionaire, Mamma Mia!, Explained, Jurassic Park III, Horrible Bosses, 27 Dresses, The Hangover, Tag, Travels with my Father (season 3)

What I’m listening to: Light Up the Dark by Gabrielle Aplin, Speak for Yourself by Imogen Heap, All’s Well That Ends Well by Chiodos, The Money Store by Death Grips, Flamboyant by Dorian Electra, Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent by Lewis Capaldi

What I’m reading: Check out my reading wrap-up posts #16 and #17 from this month.



  1. Charlene Redpath
    November 1, 2019 / 1:42 pm

    Love hearing from you. What a life! I keep believing this isn’t permanent. Guess it’s because we never get to see you; but it sounds like you are enjoying the uniqueness of your job/ work. Looking forward to seeing you at Christmas as I’m sure everyone is!!!
    Also, is that a coyote in the picture or a dog with a HUGE tail???


    • rachelwuest
      November 10, 2019 / 12:02 pm

      It’s a fox!

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