STORY BY: Deckboss & Co-Owner of F/V Silver Spray | PHOTOS BY: Jeremy Koreski | LOCATION: Bering Sea, Alaska

The Prout family has spent the last 45 years braving the rough water off the coast of Alaska – all in pursuit of the illusive King Crab. We sat down with Gabriel Prout, vessel owner and crab fisherman on the F/V Silver Spray. to see what it takes to prepare for a 10-day trip out on one of the world's most dangerous seas.

ABOVE: Sterling Prout navigates his way around the Silver Spray in preparation for the fishing trip.


With sea spray, swells, and seasonal storms rolling through, everything will get wet eventually, so packing our 10-days-worth of gear and clothes into a waterproof and submersible Panga® 100L Duffel is the best way to keep our clothes dry before then.

The first thing that gets packed are baselayers. On a warm day (anywhere between 32°F and 42°F), a 100% cotton tee does the job. But when temperatures drop below freezing, we rely on SmartWool thermals and socks because they wick away moisture while we work.

On top of the baselayers, go midlayers. Because most of our work is done in below-freezing conditions, I like to wear a pair of Grundéns fleece pants with knee pad inserts — which are necessary protection when crawling in and out of pots or getting down low to make on-deck adjustments. A simple cotton hoodie makes for a great layer up top while Grundéns insulated boots are great for keeping dry. When it comes to gloves, we usually use two layers: a thin and breathable wool liner paired with polyurethane gloves since they have plenty of room and ample grip.

And finally, we pack our waterproof gear — three sets to be exact. Any time we get a break — which is only a handful of times during an eighteen-hour shift — we head into the cabin and switch out our baselayers and rain gear for a dry set. We love Grundéns regular bibs as they have a loose fit that’s quick to get in and out of.

ABOVE: 1. Grundéns Waterproof Jacket 2. Yonder™ 750 ml Bottle with Tether Cap 3. O’Keefe’s Working Hands 4. Panga® 100 L Waterproof Duffel 5. Polyurethane Waterproof Gloves 6. LoadOut® GoBox 30 Gear Case 7. Grundéns Waterproof Boots 8. Baken-Ets Pork Rinds 9. Grundéns Waterproof Bibs


With swells of over 40 feet and frequent and severe winter storms, the Bering Sea is a deadly workplace environment. Being prepared for an emergency is a given. We keep a waterproof LoadOut® GoBox packed and ready to go at all times. Items like waterproof matches, latex gloves, lighters and screwdrivers are standard for most emergency kits, but we add textured gardening gloves because of their grip in damp and slippery conditions. But our most valuable tools are what we use if our communication systems are cut off: hand held flares, orange smoke canister flares, parachutes flares, and an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) are all different ways to send out distress signals.

Once we've got our emergency gear accounted for, we look at what we need to actually do our jobs. On deck, the rule of thumb is to keep everything as tidy as possible. That's why we rely on the LoadOut® Bucket – to keep our essential tools organized, accessible, and dry. I always tuck black tape in my pockets and a set of Victorinox Knives on my Grunden's Belt. And while they're too large to carry on-hand, we stow blowtorches in the cabin for splicing lines back together or heating up hydraulic fittings as well as hammers to knock blocks of ice off the boat's railings.

ABOVE: Our emergency LoadOut® GoBox packed with essential survival supplies.

ABOVE: Sterling Prout mans the hydraulics as a pot gets ready to come aboard. The “hydro man” station is one of the most important jobs on deck because you are in control of a lot of moving parts (table, launcher, winch).


Days onboard at their shortest are fourteen hours and at their longest eighteen. And with our night watch our crew relies on a steady stream of coffee. While most crew members take their coffee black, I take mine with a dash of creamer. 6 A.M. wakeup calls require Rambler® 10 oz. Mugs in the cabin, and by 7 A.M., we’re all on deck, Rambler® 20 oz. Travel Mugs filled to the brim and stashed in the boat’s many nooks.

With the constant dampness and cold temperatures on deck, it’s hard to tell how much we sweat while we work. But the cramps and lightheadedness from dehydration can lead to dangerous situations, making water intake a conscientious effort for us all. Some crew members prefer the Rambler® Half Gallon Jug, while others like how light the Yonder™ Bottles are, and everyone enjoys a seltzer water while on break.

When it comes to food, we have one crew member — my brother, Ashlan — who is assigned to cook. He heads in an hour early from the deck to prepare dinner that usually consists of a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. Easily everyone’s favorite meal, though, is a crab boil with our most recent catch. We joke that we’re eating our paycheck but it’s worth it. Prepped by the whole crew and boiled in salt water to retain its flavor and natural makeup, Ashlan serves it with a bleu cheese dressing as well as a mixture of butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder that really brings out the sweetness of the meat.

ABOVE: Ashlan Prout prepares the main course of the meal for the evening dinner, fresh caught red king crab.


We all toss back as much vitamin C as we can because getting sick is not an option. We’ve found the best way to protect our hands from the wind and salt withh O’Keefe’s Working Hands. And if the sea wasn’t giving us enough already, we add a bit more salt to our day with quick handfuls of Baken-Ets Pork Rinds. When we’re finally done for the day, we typically go straight to sleep. But on days when the weather is too bad to fish, we whip out a deck of cards or a cribbage board to pass the time. When making the trek from port out to the Bering Sea, we put on a movie, usually Gladiator or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, to watch throughout the day. And if for some reason I can’t fall asleep at the end of a long day, I queue up one of the many shows or movies I’ve downloaded onto my phone.

Gabriel Prout is a 3rd generation fisherman in Alaska and the president of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, a nonprofit trade association. He lives and works in Kodiak, Alaska on his family’s crab boat, the F/V Silver Spray.