If It Smells Like Fish; It Probably Is...Part 2

As I stepped on board the research boat for the first time, all I could think of was “great, the boat stinks like day old fish.” Duh – it’s a fishing boat! What was it supposed to smell like?

It was that day my career as a “Fisheries Division Survey Technician” began. My days were spent hauling nets, picking, counting, sorting and weighing the different fish species – all while trying to keep my rubber boots and not my ass planted to the deck of the boat.

It’s a good thing I do not have a weak stomach because there was one particular fish species that made me want to cry and would have made a lesser woman (or my husband) want to vomit. I don’t recall the name of it, but it was small and invaded the nets in great numbers and the unfortunate part – they would literally “explode” when you tried to remove them from the nets. Just picture trying to grab hold of Jello with your bare hands and just when you think you have hold; you hear a “popping” sound, followed by oozing. Nasty, doesn’t even come close to explaining the horror or it all and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I’m further blessed with the ability to perform fish autopsies. Why you ask? Good question. I am certainly not a scientist, so my conclusion as to why I was asked to analyze stomach contents, sex fish species and age fish scales was because I had a sense of humor. Either that or they were trying to get to me to quit.

Apart from the nasty fish and the smell that permeated my hair, skin and clothes, it actually wasn’t a bad deal; however thank god the summer research season was short because I’m sure my family and “real job” co-workers would have run an intervention to make me quit that job, because just like the fishing boat, I was beginning to smell like day old fish and no amount of scrubbing could remove the stench. Not to mention, I was attracting a lot of stray cats to my neighborhood – they were obviously enamoured with my rubber boots…

Recently my BF approached me again to see if I was interested in joining her team for another summer of boat rides and fish counting. As tempted as I was, I couldn’t possibly figure out a way (without limiting my career aspirations) to explain to my boss as to why I preferred fish snot and entrails over contract reviews, so I thought it best to decline. There’s always next year…

Comments

CrazyCris said…
call me crazy, but that sounds like a fun summer adventure! but then, I'm a marine biologist so go figure! :p
Cris, it was a lot of fun. I love adventure and doing different things, but I don't suspect I will be able to get the time off from my real job, so I'll have to pass this year. If you are interested, I could put in a word for you - all you'll need is rubber boots and sweatpants!
LOL! That's hilarious! I don't think I could have handled the smell. I tolerate the smell of bacterial incubators, the fishys would have done me in!
:D
Brian Miller said…
lol. that is amazing...sounds like a real adventure, but can't imagine they will bottle the smell for the perfume counter anytime soon. i am intrigued by the exploding fish though...

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