August 7, 2014 by Rob Hurlbut
The Westward Seafoods Mafia
The time I spent in Dutch Harbor, Alaska last year was good and bad. The good was that I met some great people and got to see some wildlife and of course the bad was that I worked for Westward Seafoods while I was there. A year ago I was so pissed off about what I went through and what I saw in that seafood processing plant that I didn’t post much about the good times I had. The good times were spent checking out bald eagles, climbing hills to take photos and checking out the town of Unalaska. There were also a few good times that took place in my shitty bunkhouse. The photos for this post were taken on one of my last nights on the island. It was just one of those nights where, after working for 12 hours, one of my roommates and a couple other friends hung out for a few hours, talking about God knows what but having fun the entire time.
Alfonso is on the left, flipping me off. I forget exactly why, but whatever the reason was, it sure seemed to be funny. We were all poor in Dutch Harbor and alcohol is expensive so of course it makes sense that lots of people bought lots of alcohol up there. Nothing helps a poor person cope with a shitty job and lack of money like spending what you have on booze. Those of you that know me know that I don’t drink beer so there may or may not be a bottle of vodka just outside the frame. I may or may not have paid $30 for that fucking bottle.
Group Fist Bump
So, drinks start flowing, stories get told and things progress from flipping each other off to fist bumps. The other two guys in the photo standing next to Alfonso are Alex and E.J. I worked with E.J. in “D” section on the Surimi side of Westward Seafoods and I met Alex, probably through E.J. In wanting to maintain proper fist bump etiquette, I bumped with my right hand and held the camera with my left. Check out Alfonso being too cool for school by bumping with his left hand!
Showing Off Tattoos
Tattoos and scars will inevitably show up and be compared amongst a crowd like this. I have three tattoos, none of which have ever made an appearance on my blog. I got them all whilst serving in The Navy in the early nineties. I have a few scars too but most of them have to do with inline skating.
Pleasant nights like this didn’t happen very often during the three months I was in Alaska. We worked 12-18 hours a day every day of the week so sleep was the Holy Grail of free time up there. Being able to get four friends in a room at the same time for reasons other than sleep only happened during meals and rare nights like this one. I remember asking for a cigarette for this shot. I don’t smoke but I thought it would look cool for the shot we were trying to compose. The problem was that the smoke was killing me so of course I’m making a funny face in a photo that I otherwise think is pretty neat. Anyway, three or four days later I was off the island and headed back to San Diego. Six months after that, I moved back to Denver, ending my eight year vacation in sunny California. Cheers!