New England’s long, cold winter is torture for fishermen. We peruse photos and recall hours of quiet concentration interrupted by a few minutes of excitement. We long for the hint of warmth indicating fishing season will return but there’s also plenty of work to interrupt our daydreaming. Cleaning and painting the boat, repairing, cleaning and oiling gear preceded this week’s launch into deep blue water. I have the additional tasks of cleaning and repairing lobster pots and painting buoys left to tackle.
Last season destroyed gear so I’m down 5 lobster pots. So I’m sharing ride in an almost-empty work van with my husband to “meet a guy about some lobster pots.” It isn’t much of a date but we’re practical people. Narragansett is a virtual ghost town within winter’s stark beauty. Only the hearty remain.
With lobster pots piled next to the house, it’s obvious we’re in the right place. Lobster guy arrives with his girlfriend/deck hand. Brief inspection verifies the sale items as functional yet shabby. Repairs are in our future. The inclusion of a new buoy with each pot sways us. Money exchanges hands and ten wire rectangles are stuffed into the van.
Soon buoys will be marked with our signature yellow and orange design and number plates will be added to each pot. We’re grateful for the absence of “ocean funk” from our cargo because the outside air is frigid. Interior air is breathable even with all windows rolled up. My sweet husband grins and says, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” I chuckle and respond, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey. You’re the best.”
Anything can be a thoughtful gift if it is wanted or needed by the recipient but it helps to really know your sweetheart. If you’re unsure, flowers and chocolate are safe, dependable gifts. A fishing pole or fillet knife puts a smile on my ocean-loving face. I didn’t get a card or flowers for this year’s holiday dedicated to romantic love but was blessed with tools for our shared hobby. For me and my sweetheart, life is too short to settle for traditional gifts when interesting options abound. Time together is the best gift and freshly-caught fish is just a bonus.
Snow is melting and spring temperatures are on their way. Early April was our first lobster harvest last year so I’m stocking up on sweet butter. I hope the lobsters arrive soon, don’t you?