Day in the life of a fisherman
A Day in the Life of a Fisherman
It was once said that there are three jobs that civilization owes its existence to: One is the carpenter, second is the farmer and who can tell me what the third is?
Well it’s the fisherman. Not the factory ships that stay out all year long, but the little guy that battles the ocean in an 18-foot wooden boat with a 30 hp outboard motor.
Being out on the ocean for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, before bringing the catch home to the merchant.
He stays in a little shack with a little stove, and a bunk that feels like garnet and smells like death has been waiting for its next victim.
Let me take you through a day in the life of a fisherman.
First you wake up late about 4 am, light the lamp, make in a fire in an old oil drum cut out for a stove. For breakfast you cook whatever is further along on its path to being poison than the others.
You then take a look outside to see what the weather is up to, to see what way the wind is blowing and to look at the sky to see how bright the stars are to give you an idea what to expect.
The wind is coming from the north and the stars are flickering so you know that hard times are coming, but you know you have no choice, because you could not get to the nets yesterday and now you must. You make sure that all is secure for you know that when you see this old shack again it will be about 14 hrs.
It’s the middle of August and it’s warm on land but little does that help you for you spend all your time on the ocean.
You put on your sweater over you warm shirt and of course there is not a sailor on this side of Davie Jones Locker that doesn’t have his long johns on. Then it’s the double lined pants and double knitted socks that you slide down into cold rubber boots.
You fill up 10 gallons of gas and put it in the boat and by now the sun is playing peek a boo with the horizon, and you cast off the boat and pull up anchor.
It’s so quiet; the waves hit the side of the boat like the rhythm of a leaky tap. You push the boat out with the paddle until you can put the motor down, then you pull it over with a mighty yank and it’s at that very second that you realize that you are not alone, in fact the whole world seems to come alive all at once. You hear trees snapping and you look quickly to your left toward the shack and you see the moose by the pond and all kinds of birds taking flight at once. One of which you have a hatred for – the sea gull that hangs around the camp and who took that salmon you had cleaned on the rock yesterday for supper.
You let the engine very slowly move you toward the mouth of the harbor while you put on your rubber coat and pants, fixing your hat against the wind so the water can run away from your face. Like a good warrior a good fisherman always tries to stay a step ahead of his adversary.
You now open her up full speed leaving the harbor that shelters you and as you round the last finger of land the wind of the ocean greets you like taking a bite of ice cream after a sip of hot tea. The thought enters the mind that maybe turning back till later would be best, but you recite that old saying “a calm sea never a great sailor make” and you keep your goal in mind.
After a hour, you reach your first net and you know that it’s full of dog kelp because of the North West wind last night. The sea is consistent in dealing out disappointments.
You go on the far side and shut the engine off and pull it up so it won’t tear the net. You go for the front as fast as you can letting the wind take you to the net and you grab the rope.
Pulling yourself along looking toward the bottom for salmon, wishing you had the eyes of an eagle. Half way up the net nothing, wait there’s one shinning like a mirror in the sun. No there’s two, three, now 9 in total. The sea is now your nursing mother and you’re hungry because you have caught nothing the past three days only frozen hands and a chiseled spirit.
You have 4 more nets to check and the waves are now 3 feet high but they must be checked or they will sink with the seas refuge.
You pray that Davie Jones locker is in no need of more souls today and veer around and head for the next in line. You are now on the last net and the sun has seemed to found a better place to be and heading there in a hurry.
The final catch is 20 salmon and 2 scoplings, now scoplings are only fit to feed an enemy, and you have one in mind that sea gull who took your supper yesterday.
Your hands are bloody from the rope being pulled through your hands with every upward thrust of the now 8 foot waves. You head back now for the shack, and how sweet that bed would now smell and how soft that bunk would feel to your beaten aching body.
The sun is now gone to bed on your world and the stars are now your friend. You see the lighthouse and you let out a sigh of relief. You come around the finger of land that you seen just 13 hours ago and the waves are not permitted to come thanks to the shelter of the harbor, but they will be waiting there for you tomorrow.
You let the anchor fall to the ocean bed and you soon fall into yours and you feel that maybe death won’t have to wait much longer for another victim. But what a satisfying feeling.
When you feel that your having it tough and want to give up, look to the fisherman and be happy that your storms of life is not what your life depends. A fisherman looks at the circumstances that leads up to the battle and doesn’t make that mistake again. He knows that by her grace he lives and by knowledge she lets him have he is preserved.
I don’t know if all civilization owes something to the fisherman, but I sure know we can learn some lessons from him!