Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pick Your Pounding

The wind and waves are into many weeks of consecutive irksome uncooperativeness. Eventually, financial pressure and domestic friction force the fishermen to choose the least bad next day. We had two.

One day was unpleasant, the next offensive. The similarity ends there. Sunday was cracking cold, blowing hard from the north, high glare and harsh brightness. The next was damp and blowing harder from the Southwest.

Sunday wasn't that rough because the mainland is a mere 20 some miles to the north and the waves can't get enough fetch to grow large.

The problem Sunday was the sandpaper cold on my face all day, the creeping chill in fingers and toes that never went away. I normally cannot get cold if I'm working. Not so on Sunday. On the way out to the back side of the Wooden Ball Island, I bagged bait turned sideways the whole way because the wind picked up water and garden hosed it over the port side at a height coincidentally similar to me from head down. The tv meteorologists make much mention of wind chill. They haven't developed a measurement for when you add salt water to the wind and temperature coefficients.

Monday there was plenty of fetch. The 10 to 15 knot forecast seemed short by about half.

Up two stories, down sideways. Tipping and rolling. What is horizontal or level becomes meaningless. I am peripherally aware of the rapid appearance and vanishing of water pyramids, the boat at all angles while my equilibrium is only related to the deck. Despite the wild swinging of the horizon and other normal references of balance, the boat hull is evolved such that it orients itself to the waves by swinging and rolling so my center of gravity gyroscopes along with it. Staying up is relatively easy considering the range of motion. I swing like a spindle top.

My main goal is to stay on the boat, surfing weightless then multiple G-force moments. There is some detachment, not of rotator cuffs, but between the crazed orientation of the boat and the simultaneous routine of me just doing my job. It seems impossible to a short term mariner like myself that the boat isn't flipped, rolled, or folded in half. It just sort of glides up and down, occasionally offering the unexpected snap and sudden tilt. The movement is fine when I'm in the open. I ain't no gymnast, but the autogyro seems to work pretty good except when hard objects with corners do not share my ballet of motion and gravity.

Got to get out of the house sometimes.
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