I saw the ocean for the first time in many days today. Even though I've been working on a boat every day since Monday, Thursday morning, looking across Matinicus Roads at Ten Pound Island, I see the ocean. Ten Pound and the sparkling inlets around it seem empty without my traps there, even though there's no way I could ever see my buoys from here anyway. It's knowing that all the gear is in my yard, that I'm virtually shut down for the year, needing to jump back into the stern and make some winter survival money.
There were loud voices in my head all spring and summer that I wasn't making enough money, wasn't holding up my end of the bargain, wasn't delivering the goods. Those harsh words and the dire warnings about Hurricane Earl joined forces and panicked me. Now I'm back in the stern, and Sweet Pea is in the grass.
Last year, I hauled my own traps into November. I took lobsters to my daughter's school fundraiser in October. That was in a little rickety aluminum skiff and me with 5 traps and 0 experience. I ought to be able to stick with it for a little longer this year.
It is a nice day today. Sweet Pea is going back on the mooring. From there, we'll play by ear. There are still 19 pots in the water. The solar gear is working. Random weather, money pressure and landside commitments will be on one end of the rope, and little Sweet Pea on the other. Tug O' War it is then, for a while. I guess it usually is anyway. Dreams vs. practicality. Heart vs. security. Adventure vs. monthly statements.
Leave a comment about your Tug O' War if you like.