We own a small 16’ Carolina Skiff that has been in our “family” since before the kids were born. We used to rent a quaint little cottage which was located on the mouth of a river that opens up into Long Island Sound. It was a piece of paradise that we enjoyed from the time we met (I was 23, he was 30) until just three years ago. There is an Association that managed the small private beach and docks that members enjoyed. We could come and go on the boat any time we pleased. We were very spoiled. We rarely even went away when we had time off since we lived in a place that had everything we loved – salt water, ocean breezes, and a vessel to get us out into the deep. Taking a day to go out on the boat was nothing out of the ordinary, and something we appreciated every moment we could.
We both have our recreational lobster licenses. Mike used to bait and fish 20 lobster pots at a time. Our area is known for the Thimble Islands, which as the name suggests, consist of small island clusters, some with homes on them, some just very large rocks, but because lobsters like rocks, our catch would sometimes be extremely rewarding. It was a lot of work, but really fun, and delicious!
And what great memories.
Now days, even though we live up the street from a little marina, the boat is trailered in our yard. The town boat launch is a short drive away – only about 5 minutes – but getting out on the boat is not as easy as it used to be.
Roo is too small to go out for an extended period of time, and was feeling a little under the weather on Sunday, but Mike and Red have been itching to dunk the boat, especially to fish. Red got a new “real” fishing pole for his birthday in April, and was able to retire the “little kid” Lightening McQueen one he had been using. It had treated him well though, because last summer, he and Mike would walk to the marina and catch snappers off of the docks, and Red would get VERY excited.
The trip was such a treat for both of them. It was an EVENT. They took a ride to the bait store and bought the necessary sand worms that Red loves to play with and watch squirm on the hook. Then they hitched up – trailer to truck, and off they went. It was a gorgeous day with perfect warm weather and no humidity. The sky was BLUE with huge puffy white clouds and there was a beautiful light breeze. Mike said the water was flat calm which allowed them to go out pretty far without any choppy waves.
Once anchored, they cast their lines and waited. Red searched through the tackle box, checking out all the cool lures and bobbers. They had a picnic lunch of turkey and cheese and PB&J sandwiches. Mike caught a few small blue fish. They moved around a bit. Red napped in Mike’s lap at one point, tired from the excitement and sun. He got to swim in a pretty area that we call “back bay” because it is enclosed on one side in a semi-circular shape of marsh and beyond that residential homes. Mike caught some snappers. Red didn’t have any luck, but he also doesn’t really have the attention span or desire to just sit and watch a fishing line for any pull either.
What he did have patience for, and took very seriously, is his ability to drive the boat. At five, he is a pro already!
So, while we no longer live in the little community of “Association Beach Rights” and convenient docks, and amazing views of sailboats coming in and out of the river, and fresh, free, lobster dinners, what we do have is a boat, a trailer, and the ability to take that package wherever we want. And we are a family of adventurers, ready for fun on the high seas. (Well, maybe not HIGH seas…I really don’t like overly-rolly waves) Hopefully next time Roo and I will join. I’m thinking a sunset cruise up the river is in order.
Or maybe just a day for Mike and I, like the old days when we would simply anchor and rock in the glisten-y water until my skin was freckled and red. Tunes on the radio. Beers in the cooler. Secluded little beaches that we shared only with the seagulls. These are the moments that I am determined to renew before summer’s end. Since there are only a few weeks left (already???) we better get on it!
Mike – that last line is directed at YOU. xo