Thursday, August 11, 2011

Up and Down

The waves are sliding
Like sheets on a bed.
Tuck on in,
Get on out.
Wake up. Drink your coffee.
Wake up. Play guitar.
Wake up. Eat your breakfast.
Wake up. Cast long and far.

I get 4 days off a month. Today is one of them. It can be a day of activity or nothing. Both have their benefits. I decided to wake up without an alarm, only rise when fully rested. I had coffee and breakfast at a leisurely pace. Then played guitar for a bit. An activity long overdue.  

Now that I've got a surf rod, I figured I would walk 2 miles down the beach to the rock breakers where some bigger fish might lie. Gear rigged up and fanny pack tight on my waist, I set out.

If I were in Minnesota,
I'd call this a walleye chop. 
On the Chesapeake,
These are Croaker curls,
Striper waves,
or Flounder tides.

I was off on a brisk pace. It was a gorgeous morning. The heat cooled off a bit. There was a little cloud cover. As I approached the area I was looking to fish, I came across a crab cage that had been dropped by a boat. The heavy waves brought it in and, by the look, it had been there for some time. There were close to twenty, exhausted blue crabs inside, over 2/3 of which were females carrying their eggs beneath their tails. No one else was around. The crabs were dying. A wasted catch. 

Emotions mixed,
I clipped the wires.
Guiltily apologizing to the fisherman.
Why couldn't you just anchor your cage?
Why did I have to find this?
With satisfaction, I let the crabs go,
Trading their release for guilt
That shadowed me the rest of my day.

Upon reaching the spot....

I hooked up my bait, and made a few casts. Three in, I felt the shudder of a bite. Set the hook. And began to reel. This was a better fish. I was right, there are bigger ones here. With out warning, I felt the tension of the line release. Did my line break? I looked. No. No it is still there, weighed down in the water by my rig. I looked at my reel. What the heck? My bail was gone. 

I buy a brand,
Though the cheapest deal,
Looking for reliability,
in my rod and reel.
But on it's third use,
A major malfunction.
Is this karma returning
On behalf of the crab fisherman?

*sigh* It is what it is. My fishing ended early. After reeling in by hand, my largest croaker yet, I started back.  I walked past the empty crab cage wondering if I was too rash in my actions. Should I have left them there? They would have died. The boat would not drive up to shore to fetch an errant cage. At least, I hope not. For if they would, I feel even worse. My clipping isn't anything they can't fix, but still, maybe I should have left it alone. 

I walked back, feeling sour. I wasn't sure how to receive this morning. Would I have been better off at work today? I suppose not. 

Walking and reflecting,
Singing to myself,
I spotted a pod of dolphins
playing in the waves.

Jumping, playing,
Diving, and chuffing. 
Laughing in turbulent waters,
They put on a show.

Up and down.
I sat and watched. 
Some days are fulfilling,
And some are not.

If you look close, you can see a fin.
All in all, the reel ended up being an easy fix. I had another broken reel, that willingly donated a few parts. It has been a busy morning. Full of activities. Some brought me up, some brought me down. Tides move the same way. There is no up, without a down. And I must remind myself, a bad day on the water, is still better than most days off.

Lunch and a nap sounds like a good activity for the afternoon. Yeah. I think that will be good. Up with the tides. Up with the sheets. Up with the corners of my mouth.


And things go up... Peanut Butter, Honey and Cinnamon on Vanilla Ice Cream.
Heck yes I did.


  1. WHAT A POST!!!! It has everything - poetry, photographs, nearly dead, but now liberated crabs! An equipment failure and cream! Dude. If OJDC was up right now I'd have this linked to so fast it'd make MY head spin.

    You've set the bar pretty high, Mr. Nash. ( I mean for yourself...I'm not going to try and compete with this.....)

  2. :) Thanks, Owl. It was an eventful day yesterday, that is for sure. I'm sorry your site is down, I'll keep checking in to see if things have changed. I've got my fingers crossed for you.

    I'm glad you liked the post, I tried to make it dynamic.

  3. Karma works in funny ways. Although, I don't think you did a bad thing by setting those crabs free. They were meant to die, but not like that. A fixable reel malfunction was a small price to pay.

    The walleye chop line made me smile.

    Really well done. Cheers!

  4. Thanks Sanders :) I thought you might appreciate that. All in all, it was a good day.

  5. I missed this one! Poetry and prose mixed was delightful! (Somehow, that came out sounding like a strange cocktail which I did not intend!) Cheers. :)