Working on the Edge

Surviving In the World's Most Dangerous Profession: King Crab Fishing on Alaska's HighSeas

Spike Walker

St. Martin's Griffin

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No profession pits man against nature more brutally than king crab fishing in the frigid, unpredictable waters of the Bering Sea. The yearly death toll is staggering (forty-two men in 1988 alone); the conditions are beyond most imaginations (90-mph Arctic winds, 25-foot seas, and super-human stretches of on-deck labor); but the payback, if one survives can be tens of thousands of dollars for a month-long season.

In a breathtaking, action-packed account that combines his personal story with the stories of survivors of the industry's most harrowing disasters, Spike Walker re-creates the boom years of Alaskan crab fishing--a modern-day gold rush that drew hundreds of fortune-and adventure-hunters to Alaska's dangerous waters--and the crash that followed.

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Working On The Edge
PART ONETHE GREENHORN SEASON: TANNER CRAB FISHING ABOARD THE ROYAL QUARRYONEAs I pounded the waterfront of Kodiak's Cannery Row in search of work, I stretched my black wool cap down over my numb ears and withdrew farther into the warm, protective folds of my Navy pea jacket. Broke and unemployed, with virtually no experience at sea, my stomach felt empty with apprehension. Huddling against the cold, indifferent winds of January, waiting, literally, for my ship to come in, I tried to imagine what Donny Channel and John Magoteaux, as well as the two men who died, Tom Miller

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Reviews

Praise for Working on the Edge

"This will become the definitive account of this perilous trade, an addition to the literature of the sea." --James A. Michener

"Skillfully written and intelligently observed with all the muscle, beauty, and energy of a 145-foot Alaskan fishing boat making way through the treacherous waters of Shelikof Strait..."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Walker writes with such intensity that no one will walk away from this book without travelling some small part of the way with these men (and a few women) who work on the wild, water edge of civilization, pushing and pushed to the limits of strength and stamina."
--Alaska Fisherman's Journal

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About the Author

Spike Walker

Spike Walker spent nine seasons as a crewman aboard some of the most successful crab boats in the Alaskan fleet. While "working on the edge," the crewman's term for laboring in the brutal outer reaches of the Berin Sea, Spike encountered 110-mph winds, rode out one of the worst storms in Alaska's history, worked nonstop for seventy-four hours without sleep, participated in record catches of king crab, saw ships sink, helped rescue their crews, and had close friends die at sea. He currently lives in Clatskanie, Oregon, and returns each year to fish for halibut in Alaska.

Spike Walker

Spike Walker

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Available Formats and Book Details

Working on the Edge
Surviving In the World's Most Dangerous Profession: King Crab Fishing on Alaska's HighSeas
Spike Walker

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
March 1993
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466809338
ISBN10: 1466809337
312 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
March 1993
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312089245
ISBN10: 0312089244
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 312 pages
$15.95
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St. Martin's Griffin

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