Friday, July 29, 2011

This Was the Day

This is the week where it all happens. Rain, wind and fog pushed the start of my season way later than I or my creditors preferred. The early season was a good ride because of the lobster price being higher. Appointments, music performances on the mainland, vehicle breakdowns and the omnipresent tug of war with wind all kept throwing off the rhythm. The catch pulled its usual July slump.

This week was different. Somewhere in all the obstacles and unpredictable interruptions, the operation got streamlined and functional. Which is hard considering I very often feel there isn't enough room for both my feet in the boat by the time all my stuff is aboard. Trap flipper, battery, motor, winch, oars, gaff, lobster crate, safety and legal stuff, cleaning tools, bailer, bucket, sail, trap repair kit, radar reflector, radio, lunch, banding tray. Any time I need to change one thing, it feels like I need to upend and rearrange everything. So when it all starts feeling smooth and functional, I am amazed.

This week was productive. Even with a few windy, wavy times and taking time out to take Dennis and his camera out to haul, I managed to haul all of my gear and catch a pretty good quantity of lobsters.

Several times, I left in the morning planning only to do a partial day and wound up staying at it 'til late. Tuesday morning was gray and windy. The water off the north end of Wheaton Island was particularly steep and choppy, but Sweet Pea was not bothered.

Yesterday, though, was It. The fourth hauling day in a row. Flat-ass calm as they call it. Dazzling blue sky. Only enough hint of a breeze to put a hypnotic grid of ripples almost floating above the water. Blessings in every direction. I had to holler out praises in order not to get either giddy or some kind of greedy gold fever from the lobsters. I had to remember to bless the lobsters and the bait for giving life for my and my family's lives.

I hauled 50 and headed in for more bait and to get the lobsters back in the water at the buying station. I couldn't believe six hours had already gone by. I rowed out to Whales Back Ledge, where my traps are most distant from shore. In the brilliance of the day and the mesmery of sliding through the space between blue and silver water and sky, with my hands stiff and sore from rowing, my back tired but as strong as it has ever been, I had the realization moment. One person in an old fashioned boat, so small and far from shore, covered in seaweed, algae, snails and modern solar gear. This was the day.

The wind came up just as I was finishing the most productive week since the project began last year. The battery had just enough life to glide me back to the harbor.

Today the wind is moving faster and I'm moving slow. I'm at home with paperwork to do and other commitments to prepare for. Yesterday is permanent.

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