The Wave by Mark Stone
Seeing that fine picture of the Alpine brings back good memories. As I remember, she was planked with Alaska Cedar framed with bent oak. Decking was fir and beams were Alaska Cedar. Interior tim, door and window frames were teak. The story was that when the battleship Oregon was scrapped in WW2, Marvins dad and grand dad were able to get some of the teak decking and many of their boats were trimmed with it. John Skamser was a fine skipper with a real knack for putting us on fish and Alpine was a good fishing boat. Marvin built her well and an incident that happened while we were fishing not far from where you took that picture and on a day that started in conditions just like that will attest to it. The year was about 1980.

It was early May and we were on the 7th day of a salmon trip. We had been working water edges about 18 miles WNW of Cape Mendocino. The first few days were flat, but the barometer was rising and each afternoon the NW wind and current increased. The last night we anchored up off Centerville, just north of the Cape. Centerville was kind of a crappy place to anchor, good holding ground, but completely exposed to the NW slop. As we slept, the Alpine surged against the hook and wind whistled in the rigging. As I slept, I had one of those vivid dreams. In the dream I was standing on a beach at the base of the sandstone cliffs where we were anchored. In the dream, my dog, Sable, was with me and both of us were looking at a man standing on a ledge part way up the cliff. He was an old Cape Horn sailor ( I say old-gosh he must have been close to 50!) .As we stared, he turned toward me and in a very clear voice said; “You never know when it is going to come.” I woke with a start and remember thinking “what the heck was that all about?”

A short time later I was awakened again, this time from the sound of the engine room door as John turned on the lights and began the engine starting procedures. By the time the engine was warming up, I had my rain gear on and was waiting for the pull the hook order. Another commute to the office.

A few hours later we were fishing in some tide rips and scratching some fair grade kings. Around noon the fish quit. And we had 37 kings which put us over 300 for the trip, at least a payday. I had the fish all ready to ice and everything cleaned up when we crossed a major water edge. Suddenly we were in clear blue water and the sun was breaking out. The wave pattern was different. As I watched astern, a series of waves formed behind us. They were very tall, close together sloughing on top and looked more like something you see on a breaking bar than open ocean. The stern lifted up and over the first one, but something looked sinister about the timing of the others. I started for the house. Jon was standing in the door, top half of the Dutch door was open He was munching peanuts, looking astern as he said "Have you noticed these waves?" " Yeah! Let me in and close the door!" In a matter of a few seconds I was in the house, Jon slammed the lower half of the door, and there was a loud KAWUMPF! that you felt as much as heard. (The only other noise I've heard like that was when i drove Danny Dunn's 59 Plymouth into a collision with a 62 Ford.) We both instinctively dropped to the floor as water under high pressure surged through the top half of the door. We rose sputtering and spitting, completely drenched. For a few moments the converstation consisted of "What the ?" "Holy this and Holy that!"(expliatives deleted) We looked around. Piled at the base and alongside the house was a pile of fish,buckets, and what was left of our work area. We eventually saved about 20 fish.. There were herring baits all over the floor inside the house. There was bait clear down in the focsle.

But we both laughed incredulously when we beheld an amazing site: there on the top of the diesel range, perfectly supported in its middle by the tea water pot, was a nice 12lb dressed king.