Atlantic Ocean, NL - Greg Reid
My name is Greg Reid and I’m originally from Dildo, I’m living here in St. Johns now with my fiance. This will be my third season with McKeil. My position on the boat is able-bodied seaman, deckhand.
My most powerful memory of water it was way before McKeil. I used to fish with my dad ever since I was 8 years old. We used to fish different fisheries - capelin, herring. I started at a crab fishery when I was about 17. My most powerful memory of water, my first memory, was I was 8 years old. It was in the summer. I was working with my dad on the boat. I came up from the front of the boat and I came up to the wheelhouse. There was nobody there, they were all out on the deck fishing. When I came out, I walked out on the deck, my dad was calling out the commands to the deckhand. I saw a lot of boats around us doing the same things, hauling their nets. Some nets that belonged to fish plants had more complicated gear. They had fish pumps. You’d see water flying out from the side of the boat through these little pipes and what that did instead of catching fish the old fashioned way, which was what we used to do - take a big net and put it down to the water where fish were and lifted it up and let the water draw out and then open it up on the bottom and the fish would fall out to the fish hole. That was the kinda of gear we had.
But I saw a lot of different boats do a lot of different things to catch the capelin. That’s one of my strongest memories on the boat with my dad. Water is important to me because it is a part of my heritage. it’s what I grew up with. When I was younger in my small community there were a lot more fishermen but they were older. They decided to sell out their enterprises. A lot younger people weren’t interested because the money is not there. But for me it’s the freedom to get away from everything. It’s a different place when you are offshore. We are 100 miles off land when we are fishing for crab.
The people that I work with are all really friendly. Everybody got along so good. You’re off on water, there’s no stress. It’s just you, the work, the people and the water. That water you’re hauling up that’s what you depend on to make your living with. With this crew, we are working through summers and fall and you don’t really get a chance.
Like I said, my first experience when I was 8 years old and I walked up on the deck of the boat and I saw all the different fishing boats. Before I was on the water, dad and I never saw that before. When I was 24, this was just before I started university. I worked with my dad that summer, paid my way through at that time. Our last trip of the season, dad sailed us off shore, there were 4 of us out there for the crew members. We got along perfect. The way I was looking, I was looking and I saw a big black fin come up followed by a couple other smaller whales. My first thought I knew what it was. I ran in to get my camera and when I came back out I tripped over the door and the batteries fell out onto the deck and there was water on the deck so it was kind of pointless. It was my first really good visual of wild killer whales, not something you see at Marineland.