Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Direction Is Everything

Eight to twelve knots.

Not a particularly harsh wind, here on the Crystal Coast, except when coming dead straight from the west, giving it thirty uninterrupted miles to plow deep furrows in the emerald seas along these south-facing barrier islands, Onslow Bay to the Lookout Bight.

Direction is everything.

So we idled in the inlet channel, protected, a bit, from the churn by the distant confederate brick, stone, and barrier sands of Fort Macon, and we waited. Waited for the breeze to shift, if even a few degrees. Waited for the tide to change in hopes that it might smooth the ceaseless six-foot ditches dug into the brine and let us go chase some albies. Waited as boats full of anxious fishermen with similar motives motored out the buoy chain, then shortly motored back; captains grim-faced, sports thoroughly shaken.

Waited as the radio crackled a constant refrain; heavy seas and no fish to be found.

We waited because we saw no need in going out to get beaten up until there was a hint of something worth getting beaten up over. It never came. No albies for us, this fine Sunday. No albies for anyone.

But there are worse starts to a day than idling these sweet southern waters and watching the sun rise. Worse places to be skunked than outside the lazy docks and quaint streets of Beaufort. Worse ways to misplace a bright fall weekend, the coming and the going for a paltry couple of hours bobbing like corks.

And as an early return is always appreciated, by both the wanderer and she who keeps the home fires burning, I packed it in and headed back before noon. Back towards my safe harbor. Back towards my shield from the winds. Back towards where my real happiness waits. Dead straight to the west.

Direction is everything.


Steve Zakur said...


Feather Chucker said...

Even a bad fishing day in Beaufort id a day well spent. I love that place. When my kids are older I want to take them camping on Lookout or Shackleford.

Tbone said...

Sep...nice recount of a fishless day. Good thing the beer doesn't care which direction the wind blows.

cofisher said...

Thank goodness you got some outstanding photographs. I feel better.

Mike Sepelak said...

Glad that we are in agreement, Steve.

Good choice, Kevin. So much to do out of that area.

And T, thanks for the invitation and the wonderful company. And send my best to your lovely bride. It was wonderful to get better acquainted.

Howard, it seems more and more lately that all I come away with are photographs. Something's got to give.