Friday, May 26

This was no fluke.

This was the moment. This was the moment I hoped would happen, but willed myself away from expecting it would. Call me pessimistic. Or cautious. I prefer to think my tempered enthusiasm and restrained outlook helps me appreciate the little things.

But even with restraint, you need to prepare for just that moment you secretly hope comes true. And there I was sitting at dinner at Shearwater, our arduous crossing of the Queen Charlotte Sound a day behind us, the brain-numbing drugs finally out of my system, when Matt, the manager, approached me. He asked me if I thought I might be interested in some salmon that these sport fishermen landed the day before and had left for the restaurant. According to Canadian law, all seafood needs to come from commercial sources. He couldn’t use it, would I be interested?

We walked to the marina’s freezer and refrigerator units at the dock. He opened the refrigerator and pulled out a beautiful 20 pound King salmon. I held it tenderly like a baby, thanked him profusely, and coddled it the whole way down the dock back to Sanctuary. Jonathan aka “Shlomo” “I’m not a New York Jew” Cooper, back on board with us after a 4 day hiatus, followed me down the docks. Only mildly embarrassed by my absolute glee at this fortuitous gift I busily got to work. I cleaned, scaled and then, with the help of that infamous filleting knife, cut the salmon into portions so that each of our 16 boats would have some salmon for dinner the next night.

Delaying my own dinner and smelling rather ocean-like for the rest of the evening was a small price to pay for handling a salmon that was fresher than any I’ve handled before. Early this morning, I was still peeling scales off of my own skin. After I packaged up the fish I threw the backbone and tail over the side of the boat and watched as little fish picked at it immediately while it slowly sank away from sight.

I may miss the stars, the porpoises, and the whales, but I was in the right place at the right time to get this gift and my smile stretched from one side of my face all the way to the other.

Before even this moment could be fully appreciated, another memorable moment I will share: ironically, just one day after my post about the Seinfeld syndrome, I accidentally slept in this morning when the crew quarter phone rang. I picked it up and it was Captain Jeff yelling, “10 porpoises! Off the bow, port side! 10 porpoises!” I threw my clothes on and ran up the ladder and up to the bow where the whole crew was giddy and laughing with cameras out and porpoises…gone. I had to laugh out loud at my stupid dumb luck.

I then trudged up to my favorite perch on the fly bridge. Within an hour I heard from down below, “WHALE!” I looked around frantically but cautiously (not expecting to see anything, of course) when it showed itself, port-side, first its rounded shiny black back and fin…and then, and then…yes, its incredible, stunning, breath-halting, moment-stopping, tail. And, indeed, I did not expect it. And this time, dammit, I saw it.

I saw it.

And what a magnificent sight it was.

(Internet access continues to be a challenge...I'll post again as soon as I'm able.)


Post a Comment

<< Home