Sunday, April 3, 2011
The stiff westerly wind blew our fourteen-foot Henry O around the lake like it was just another dried oak leaf. Fin and I had hoped to find a few of the trophy largemouths that occupy this small Piedmont reservoir but they appeared to be hunkered as deep against the howl as possible. The fly rods, our preferred tackle, remained under the gunnels, or, in my case, never left the rod tubes, and we futilely tossed our dusty spinning gear against the gale. Sitting here, eighteen hours later, the blast still reverberates in my ears.
There was a second wind blowing, as well, but it was a storm originating much, much farther away. You see, the water we fished was the 4,100-acre cooling reservoir for the 900MW Progress Energy nuclear generator, situated just southwest of Raleigh. The effluence from the plant warms the reservoir enough to encourage the local plant life, bait fish, and largemouth population to impressive proportions.
The second wind, then, originated in Fukushima and blew through our subconscious, carrying with it an odd sense of unease at floating in the shadow of the massive cooling tower.
I promulgate no politics and suggest no solutions here. I merely express thoughtful concern. I am, after all, just a simple fisherman and smarter folks than I need to sort this all out. But my heart goes out to the Japanese population, so devastated by the quake and its initiated disasters, and I can’t keep the phrase "There but for the grace of God, go I” from whistling through my head.
It’s a mean genie we’ve bottled to serve our insatiable desire for electricity - for power. I just hope we can keep the cork in place.
And I pray we can keep those Fukushima winds from ever blowing again.