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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The one that got away

Seattle was scorching for two days and my parents picked from my cousin Amy's house.  We  made our way for the coast, where it was 20 degrees instead of 35.  Westport is a small, beach community famous for its seafood and salmon fishing.

Dad and I booked a salmon charter, which was interesting because I had never gone salmon fishing before.  We had a nice long walk on the beach and ate at the One Eyed Clam.  Fantastic seafood; I had a bowl of seafood which looked like something out of Star Trek, with limbs poking out of the bowl.  Actually, despite it looking fairly disgusting, it was delicious.

The charter left bright and early in the morning at 530 a.m. so we woke up at 4 to get ready.  The conditions were bumpy and three people became seriously ill on the boat.  The fishing was slow and hard work, constantly reeling in and reeling out.  On the third cast of the second set of fishing, I felt a slight tug on my line; I started reeling in and it became extremely difficult.  I called out the famous words "fish on!" and it was all on.  The deck crew scrambled around me and we moved around the boat, trying not to tangle up other fishermen.

The action continued for about five minutes as I fought the fish.  It was very tiring work; until finally, the fish was on the boat.  I let out a little shriek of delight; my fish was large, about 14 pounds.  I was happy with my catch.

The rest of the day continued on until I had another fish on my line; again the scramble, the screaming deckhands.  The fish was a surprise to me; I hadn't been paying attention.  The deck hand brought up the net but missed the shiny fish and it flopped happily back in the ocean, taking my bait with him.

Secretly, I was happy to see the fish go back to sea.  I had my big fish; did I need another?  And this got me thinking about regret and how we obsess about the job, the person or that thing that slips through our fingers.  Dad was upset with the deckhand but I saw no point; what is gone is gone and you just can't get it back again.  Sure I might get lucky and catch the same fish again but that's a long shot.

After all, there are plenty more fish in the sea...