Tuesday, August 24.
I am the Black Lab just enjoying the ride in the pickup truck. The breeze is whipping. The Miss Madelyn is fast. The waves are bright hills of water here west of Matinicus. The wind tears the tops off the great heaving breakers that rear up over the ledge every couple of minutes.
Today is the second day aboard Miss Madelyn, another of the big-boy boats. Fast, roomy and catching many, many lobsters. Yesterday, day 1 on Miss Madelyn, was gray and wet and very rough. We worked the whole day behind “The Ball,” the Wooden Ball Island.
I’ve never seen so many lobsters in my life as I have in the last 4 days of Man Fishing on Cynthia Lynn and Miss Madelyn.
Being a sternman once again is fun. It is frenetic, and not so much like a hockey game as maybe basketball. I never played, but I imagine that when the team is flowing together- anticipating the others’ moves, keeping the ball moving, going where the ball is going to be- that it is like this. I never played sports, but the close, fast moves, independent and intertwined must be similar to this. Except they play for an hour or something and we start at 5:00a.m. and go til afternoon. And our court tilts a lot. And is splashy. Cold splashes down your neck.
What I forgot was: I really like this kind of work. The ocean. The action. The teamwork. The way the pace and the tilting blur together and I find a speed and grace and reflexes (relatively speaking) that no other experience brings out. The Wild.
At a different moment I realize that I’m looking at a fall ocean. Waves, wind and color are of fall even though it’s still August. I start feeling the need to finish up my project for the season. With this sea, sky and wind change and the financial and personal stresses that accompany the project, it feels like time to pull them up.
The feeling passes. At the end of the week, I’m back aboard my beloved Sweet Pea, catching a tiny amount of lobsters slowly, and paying tiny overhead.
Sweet Pea is now solar. The panel says it’s charging my winch battery. I obsess about my wiring and the solar setup as a whole, because I cannot really tell if the battery is getting charged. My amateurish marine wiring is very wet and covered in all manner of marine plant life by mid morning. The winch keeps on turning for the rest of the day, making my job exponentially easier.
The sunlight goes in the photovoltaic window, turns into electrons that run down the wires, through the charge controller and onto the battery terminals, then out into electro magnetic motor of the the winch that turns and pulls up the rope. The sun pulls my traps up for me now. How sweet is that?! Free photons for me and Sweet Pea.
Now for an electric motor...