“I guess it was kind of stupid.”
As a wave smashed through the pilothouse window, waking him from his slumber, Mikal Solhaug realized that perhaps he had taken his fishing boat a little too far beyond its limits.
He was fishing along the North Bank, 71 degrees north—and a bit too far out for this particular boat. With the storm raging all around him, Mikal headed for land.
Like other professional fishermen working in the Arctic, Mikal is no stranger to bad weather. He will often take advantage of rough seas, turning his boat against high waves and harsh winds, leaving his fishing lines to drag behind the boat. He has been a fisherman since he was 14 and captained his first vessel at 23. All fishermen up here learn to know and respect their limits, reducing risk to a minimum. Still, this situation was deadly serious.