New Talent On the Gemini and Artemis

John the Legend and I are retiring this year.  John will return to his sweetheart Christy and their beautiful remote property on Kodiak, where they’ll grow many of the fresh, organic vegetables we serve.  I won’t completely ‘retire,’ but will step back and spend more time with my family and help manage the lodge and all of the goings on within the business on a daily basis.  And you’ll still see me on the water a couple of times each week.
This decision was made easier by an e mail we received from Captains Jeff and Abbey, who approached us before we had completely decided to make this change.  They have spent 10 years guiding fishermen in Alaska, working with different charter companies chasing Halibut, Rockfish, Cod, and the different species of Salmon; all the things we target, and most of all, taking care of their guests and ensuring folks have the experience we strive to present.  We were impressed with their resumes, very encouraging and enthusiastic references from Alaskan fishing charter companies they’ve worked with in the past, and even past client e mails asking where they’ll be guiding this summer, even indicating, “fishing with you was just one of the best experiences of our life.”
Turning this position over to someone new is both hard and exciting.  Of course John and I will miss the pursuit, the challenges of working with the weather, tides, and occasional snooty nature of the fish we pursue.  We’ll miss the camaraderie on the boats with new and returning guests, training and working with our guides, and the ever present awesomeness of being on the water and chasing fish in this area.  The exciting part is that John will go home to his utopia, and I’ll have the first day or days of free time in the summer I’ve had since we bought the lodge form my parents, and in many ways, first free time I’ve ever had on Raspberry Island in the summer since my childhood.  I’m looking forward to spending that time with my family, taking them fishing and beach combing, and helping run and manage the lodge, a task Tiffany has shouldered alone these past many years.
From a business standpoint, it also makes perfect sense.  We will give Jeff and Abbey each one day off per week; a luxury John and I rarely had.  This will give them a day to rest, do laundry, and just recalibrate, and give me the opportunity to hop on that boat and spend the day fishing; certainly a passion of mine that hasn’t diminished.  In this industry we’ve found it is easy to feel ‘burned out,’ and our goal is to provide our guests arriving in May the same level of energy and service we do for our guests in September.  A day off per week will help there.
Next, as much as I love to fish and chase fish, it will be exciting to see how Jeff and Abbey’s techniques will add to what I’ve learned over the years; already they’ve shared ideas that have proven successful for them that I haven’t thought of.  Much of their time guiding has been in SC Alaska out of populated places where the fish are fewer and harder to catch, with more competing boats.  They will be able to take that experience, focus, and energy and apply it to our remote and relatively untouched resource and really produce some great results.  I’m confident that by combining my experience with Jeff and Abbey’s fresh perspective of this fishery, and utilizing the Gemini and Artemis’s top of the line gear and electronics, we’ll see some even greater catches coming in this summer.  Assuming we have some fishermen who can KEEP THEIR TIP UP and REEL REEL REEL!!!