Relaunching a Website for the Homer Charter Association

That’s my old deckhand, Jonathan, on the left, and a couple of tourists holding mondo rockfish during summer 2022.

In another life I was once known to do some web design and at the time what they called “digital production.” Some of that work even won some awards. I have no idea if people still use that term “digital production,” and honestly I don’t care. I’d rather be out fishing.

My days of burning out writing line after line of code, and especially endlessly troubleshooting a missing greater than or less than sign, are long and done like the setting sun. I don’t mind grinding for work, but I much prefer to do it in the ocean breeze then the repressive stagnation of a dank cubicle.

With that said, I still like doing that kind of stuff sometimes (like when I feel like it), even if I forget some basics and have to resort to the Google more than I’d like to admit. That’s part of the reason I took on the website relaunch for the Homer Charter Association. That, and it seemed like no one else was going to do it short of hiring someone to do it. And since I’m one of the dues-paying members of the HCA, I figured it’d be better to do it myself then pay someone with my own money to do it.

A little back story about the Homer Charter Association it’s a non-profit organization that represents many of the 70+ charter fishing captains and owners and deckhands and others working in the industry in Homer, Alaska. It’s been around for… actually I don’t really know how long, but at least a dozen years or more. (UPDATE: the HCA was founded in 2005.) And it has a long, storied history of advocating for responsible fishing regulations and sensible policies to help ensure our bountiful halibut fishery remains healthy for generations to come. It’s the kind of stuff I can get behind.

Then COVID hit and a lot of stuff got put on the back burner, including things like maintaining our website (which, honestly, was in desperate need of a facelift anyways). And here we are now, in this foul year of our Lord 2023, and the Homer Charter Association is getting a sort of fresh start. It has a new board of directors, including myself as the newly-elected Treasurer, a new website, and a renewed focus with a lot of energy and support behind it.

One of the cool things happening now is the newly launched Homer Charter Association Job Forum, a Facebook group aimed at connecting charter industry employers with perspective deckhands, captains, and office staff. It’s filling a much-needed roll and bridging the gap between those looking for work in the Homer charter industry and those hiring. It’s a common thread for those of us in the industry. Every year there’s a scramble to find qualified help, and every year those of us working on boats field tons of questions from friends and sometimes internet strangers looking to break into the industry but unsure where to start.

The Homer Charter Association website also has an updated calendar section that includes many of the important upcoming fisheries meeting from the Alaska Board of Fisheries, North Pacific Fisheries Management Council, International Pacific Halibut Committee, and of course our own HCA meetings scheduled for the months ahead. (Ok, so we don’t really meet much during the summer — we’re gone fishing!)

The next HCA meeting is Monday, March 6, 2023 at the Homer Chamber of Commerce.



Clay Duda is a mariner, photographer, and writer living in Homer, Alaska.