Monday, August 9, 2010

Not Endless Summer

The ripening breeze so well captured in Jud Caswell's song Blackberry TIme reminds me that summer is not forever, though it may feel that way. I'm on the north shore of the island working from West Point past the end of the runway to Northeast Point. 

The neurochemical cinches around my middle have loosened. I breathe easier. The work is hard, but it is work now, instead of all day panic and discoordination.  I row. I pull traps in the boat. I measure lobsters and put new bait on. Baited, closed, over she goes. 

The north shore of the island looks like it could be the Alaskan coast. Aside from the windsock, it's all cobble beaches with driftwood piles and spruce ranks behind. There are no houses or human activity visible. In the blue distance opposite, there is the mainland, low and miragical.

I'll paddle and tend my way around Two Bush Island, then go back to the harbor, splash the lobsters, get more bait and head back out for a few more.  

The lobsters have dropped off a bit from last week, but it's still worth coming up here. 

By the time I get out south of the harbor for round 2, the wind is thrashing from the southwest. Once a trap is aboard, I slide backward, gaining speed to the point where I need to row hard to keep from hitting the rock walls in Back Cove at 6 or 7 knots. I won't get in my 75 today. 60 will have to be enough. 

I'll do live music tonight on the dock. This tradition began because state law prohibits hauling on sundays in June, July and August. Only three more concert/dance/party nights left this year. Then everybody gets down to business for real; hauling every day that the weather permits, putting in longer days. Then it's firewood and storm window time. 

Right now, though, I'm warm clear through. It takes me til August. I cool off a lot quicker. 


  1. Nat,
    Wonderful way to pursue the career you have chosen. It sounds like you have found some measure of serenity on the water. Congratulations and good fortune.

  2. Just read your story in the BDN today. Wishing you well. Alice.....I am an 80 year old quilter. That is my relaxation. One has to find something they love.