“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”

Rough waters on the way out to Offshore, chop, chop, chop (nasty 3-4ft chop from the N wind blowing 15-20 knots). I am along for the ride with hopes of doing my best out there. Sometimes being blessed with a gift from the ocean of a sight only in my mind, collected from books, the web and fishermen stories. I wasn’t sure what way or what for we would be fishing. I read the reports myself and knew it was going to be rough.

First stop  was occupied to my surprise as the only boats we saw heading out were bunker boats. So on we go, the only center console around. Find our wreck and get on… drop ’em (quick, quick , quick).  Capt always finds the fish and as usual he lands first big knot head Sea Bass. All three of us continue to keep hitting the wreck reeling in sea bass almost each time. Nothing nearly as big as the Capt.’s, but consistent. In the mix we brought up a few nice size ling and the Capt brought aboard a Cod. My first time seeing one. What an absolutely beautiful fish–looks like it could be a FW fish. He went back and swam away.

We continued our success until the bite turned off and the seas laid down and off we went. Out to my Holy Land…. Offshore and the Canyons. Lot’s of tuna chick, warmer water, sea turtles, and jelly fish. Set out the spread and trolled for a good couple hours. Just when we were wrapping up a Mahi hit the green machine. Time to pack it in and maybe hit a wreck on the way in. One we looked forward to all day, but not to be. The wreck was occupied by some divers ending their day… it’s ok though…

Flying all the way in when the Capt stops the boat for this (chime in the Jaws music) ((kidding)):

I was excited as this beautiful, peaceful giant circled the boat, came up on the other side as it feasted on jelly fish. All my life I had hoped to see an Ocean Sunfish (Mola-mola).

When you least expect it, sometimes during the most difficult times in your life you receive these gifts. Reminders of how big the world is, how we have to keep believing in ourselves and all the good there is out there.

I am going to hold onto that.

I was trying to hold and a capture the last minutes of the day… out of memory, deleting some old stuff, trying to focus…..

and in the sunset we see:

“Commercial fishing is much more than numbers of dollars, numbers of men, numbers of fish. Anyone who strolls down to the docks recognizes that. The average visitor quite likely wouldn’t know a craoker from a cod or a sea robin from a sea bass, but that in no way impairs the enjoyment of the docks. On those wharves there is all the romance that so many hope to find near the sea, because fishing is about as close as a man can get these days to earning his livelihood as his forefathers did through countless centuries.”

From The New Jersey Shore, written by John T. Cunningham and published by Rutgers University Press in 1957.