Dancing in the Dark

I twist and turn as the afternoon wears on at work. Finally the bell rings and I rush home to go fishing.

I throw off my clothes and embark for the reef. The motor does not fail. Why have I such a deep distrust for outboards? I expect them not to start.

A working outboard. Rare.

A working outboard. Rare.

I anchor in deep water and set up my Sabiki rig. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabiki

Up to now I have caught lots of  small reef  fish but tonight I am stalking bigger prey by fishing deeper. The sun is setting and the fish are hungry.

This little basket has about 1 minute to live.

This little basket has about 1 minute to live.

As soon as I lower the bait, there is a tremendous bite but after 45 seconds of skilful angling the huge fish rips the Sabiki untimely from the line. I am panting with excitement.

I re-rig and sure enough I get another bite. This time I manage to bring the fish to the boat.

A reasonable Parrot fish. They are usually very argumentative.

A reasonable Parrot fish. They are usually very argumentative.

I start again and there is a bite, a palpable bite, which of course in a very short time rips my hooks untimely from the line. I will have to beef up my gear.

This is the backdrop to the adventure

This is the backdrop to the adventure

Anyway, it gets dark and I speed back home as the full moon rises. Now is the time to anchor. It is a very high tide which I suspect has something to do with the full moon, or vice versa.

I am a very neurotic anchoring person. What if there is a squall during the night? What if the wind changes direction? Will the anchor drag? This means I place the anchor by hand by diving down with my long black Polynesian hair streaming behind me. I set the anchor to my satisfaction but realize that my specs, which had been around my neck, have disappeared into the dark, dark, East China Sea.

“My eyes are blind, I cannot see.

I have not brought my specs with me.”

This a drag as I do not really have an adequate replacement. So I go back to the house for my underwater flash light and spend a delightful 20 minutes searching the bottom of the bay for my specs. It is very dark and the sea bed is alive with creepy, crawly, crabby things. I have no real expectation of finding them but feel I have to try. It is made easier by the beautifully warm, clear water

Lo, what specs by yonder rock hold parliament with a congregation of crabs? Yep, I find them.

SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
  The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
  And as things have been they remain.
If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;          5
  It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
  And, but for you, possess the field.

I finally get back at about 9:00 to find that the leg of lamb fairy has been to the house and left a huge gigot on my chair.

Just in time for tomorrow's party

Just in time for tomorrow’s party

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades2
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy3.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
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2 Responses to Dancing in the Dark

  1. Alan says:

    Specs lost at sea – nightmare! I seem to remember you had a pair of prescription goggles – that would have wowed them in the office. Anyway, push off and sit well in order but avoid those gulfs!

  2. Ian Calder says:

    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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