Monday, September 11, 2006


Joel and I met at the local Dunkin Donuts for coffee. Mine was on the house. Joel's was not. Hmmmn.

The forecast was for NE winds to diminish from 20 - 25 kts to 10 - 15 kts by morning. But when we arrived to the dock it was evident and obvious that we were in for a ride. The wind was whipping out of the NE and all the boats on harbor moorings were tossing. "Fuck it," I said. "So we'll get a little wet, so what." Joel didn't even acknowledge my comments because he didn't even have one shred of concern over the weather.

We headed out towards the Bug Light, anticipating some calmer seas in the lee of Clarkes Island. And after getting sprayed to an almost uncomfortable level, we arrived there and we were right. It was almost flat, but the wind would occasionally shift and catch us. Dark still, but the casting commenced. Once final swig of the coffee, not to rush it, but it was cooling off fast, and we began a series of drifts across the Saquish area.

Joel had brought along several newly crafted plugs. These were combinations of "jumping fish" or "surface swimmers." They were awesome. On was, in fact, a close replica of my cherished Meunier Cherry Popper, which was lost to a beast of a fish a couple weeks earlier. Joel sampled each one of these first and soon he had a very nice explosion and a 26 incher. Then a few follows. But then action died (never began for me) and we skirted out to Kingston Bay where birds had attracted us, but nothing there either.

But here's the story of the morning:

Joel paused for a minute to proclaim his newly found respect for sharp hooks after our "hook-in-quadracept-fainting" episode a few weeks back. He said, "Man, these new hooks are effin sharp," and I quickly agreed as just two minutes earlier I had accidently jabbed my left thumb into one of them and the blood was still beading out of the little hole.

But just one minute later, a sliver of time, Joel found a treble deep into one of his index fingers. The barb was not visible.

"I'm telling you Daddio, this is just fucking crazy! I mean, I've never been hooked below the barb, all my life, until our last trip. This makes two within the month on the same boat. What the hell?!"

I looked at Joel's finger. There was blood. I remembered his earlier testimony: Dude, if I see my own blood, I am gone. So I carefully asked Joel, "Hey, you're not going to pass out, are you?" Immediately I realized that the imagery from my question would automatically result in a swift loss of conscience. I readied to catch him from behind.

"Nah," he went on almost nonchalantly. "The thing is that it is different with finger. You cut your fingers so much throughout life that this is not such a big deal."

Then he asked for the exacto knife. I had to shed off the sections that held the blood from the last operation. "Clink" went the knife, against the side of the boat, and a new, sharp edge emerged. Joel took the knife and went to work on his index finger. I felt a little queasy and began humming some songs...can't remember which, and then in 8 seconds, he was done.

We continued to fish.


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