fog & fishing in Town Neck

This morning I couldn’t sleep, it was foggy.  I’ve always loved fog.  I grabbed my camera, a few bills for coffee and slipped out quietly so Jeff could sleep a little longer.  It was a little after five.  After taking a few shots in my yard, I was bored.  I drove to the beach and ran into a friend walking to work.  I watched as he vanished into the fog.

 

Then I drove to the canal to take pictures of the guys fishing.

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I witnessed some lovely fishermen camaraderie.  I got quite an education too.  I tried to not be in the way.  I think I might’ve been a couple of times. But, they were gentlemen and didn’t mention it to me.  Mark, Norman and Nick seemed like pretty good guys.

 

This fish really didn’t want to give up the fight.  He was in too rough of shape to be thrown back.  I think I saw the last breathe of this 38″ (37.5″ to be exact) striper.

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R.I.P. big guy

Mark (tan shirt) offered his fish to Norman and his son, Nick.  Norman soon had a fish on his line and his son helped him pull it up.  It was all a thrill and the fog added some drama to the whole scene…oh, how I love fog.

 

Later Norman caught another one and released it because it was in good shape.  They were going home with two good sized fish (one caught and one gifted already).  I appreciated seeing the care taken to get the hook out as cleanly as possible.  Norman threw it back into the Cape Cod Canal to live another day.

Swim on little fella, there’s mackerel to dine on.

 

Mark, Norman and Nick were good guys.  I bought them coffee to thank them for letting me take photos…it seemed like the least I could do.  Mark and I take our coffee the same, “black with cream”.  I found this funny…black with cream.  I’ll never order it any other way again.

By getting out of my comfort zone, I was given access to a world I had little knowledge of. 

I usually sit on my porch in the morning or walk the same loop. 

This morning the siren song of fog lured me to explore and I was handsomely rewarded. 

 

Thanks fellas for one of my favorite mornings in Town Neck.

a flea market, a humpback whale, a long kayak trip & Bernie

Wednesdays have produced a particular magic for me this summer and it is because the Sandwich, Mass Flea Market is how I start my day. The market is in full swing by 6am.  They serve sausages and hot dogs because it’s lunch time for these folks by eight o’clock.  Here are my treasures from the day: an unfinished rug (I think this will become an overnight bag with a wooden bottom and leather sides), some $1 jewelry, 3 cheese knives and a few paintbrushes. The flea market was fun but I needed adventure and exercise and some time alone.

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I went out in my kayak alone for the first time. I left in midday sun (which I generally won’t due, but I needed to hit the tide right).  I have the kayak on wheels so I can walk it the mile to a beach where I put in next to the Cape Cod Canal.  It’s a great little beach for watching the boats come through the canal and an easy walk to Seafood Sam’s for fish bites.

I put in without a plan except that I wanted to be alone and I wanted to go far.  The water was like glass.  It was very calm and the bay was unusually clear…a magnificent color.  I could see to the bottom for a majority of this journey.  It was amazing to me with all of that clear water that I only saw a couple of crabs and seaweed.  No fish.  I suppose it had to do with the tide time.

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My imagination runs wild when I’m out on the water alone with my thoughts.  I thought about what I used to have to ask my son, Ellis when he was little, “Ellis, is that something that happened, or something you wish had happened?” He would think about it for a minute and then would say, “wish”.  I get it.  I really wish I had seen a humpback whale and a pirate ship on my trip.  But, I just saw some people tubing, water skiing and enjoying themselves in the water or on the beach.

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I made a deliberate attempt to talk to people along the way—in case I needed some help. I made myself known. I started hatching this plan to just keep going into Barnstable Harbor, get something to eat at the Mattakeese Wharf http://www.mattakeese.com/ and ask if I could get someone to tow me back to the Sandwich.  I basically wanted to hitchhike back to Sandwich (either by water or land).  When I got to Sandy Neck Beach which I estimate is about 6 miles (please e-mail me and correct me if I’m way off, my sea faring friends) the wind was coming up and I now had to face it all the way back to Sandwich and the canal entrance.

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cape cod canal map kayaking lillibridge noaa

I had water, but it was running low.  I was getting a rash on my legs from the wind and the salt.  However, I was so damn proud that I pushed myself that much—I could hardly stop grinning.  I was really wiped out by the time I pulled the boat back up the hill.  I was so dehydrated that it took a while to get my “land legs” back.  Water. Shower. Nap. Water.

At 48, with a newly discovered passion, I can’t even describe what I’m feeling.

Except I want everyone to feel this way sometime.

We all should get to feel really jazzed from learning something new.

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I ended my day by attending a Bernie Sanders gathering in East Sandwich, Mass.  Josh Hoxie, a Saint Michael’s College graduate who interned for Bernie in Vermont and then worked for him in DC for 3 years spoke before Bernie’s telecast message to the 3000 house parties happening around the country.  I met some great people and had the opportunity to wear my old Bernie t-shirt from his VT Senate race.

I think it’s incredibly refreshing (regardless of your party) to hear a politician talk about getting things done.  Bernie isn’t taking “Big Money”, he doesn’t have to check which way the wind blows to decide what his position is on any topic and he’s packing in huge crowds that the other candidates are dreaming of (or willing to pay for). Presidential election years are always interesting and this is starting out to be a grand one indeed.  It’s going to be a wild 15 months in America.

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life…

and I feel like it needs to be acknowledged.  I actually had a moment where I told my husband, Jeff “this is one of my favorite days of my life”. They don’t roll around all the time and they deserve to be savored.

I have to tell you about mine—July 22nd, 2015.

We got up early (6am) and went to the Sandwich, Massachusetts Flea Market to hunt for treasures.  After a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee with our friend, Christie we began our quest for the odd and collectable.  I found a gorgeous bowl and this tablecloth that I may use as part of a piece for the STRUT fashion show in Burlington, VT in September. Both cost me 9 bucks.

sandwich flea market lillibridge bowl

http://www.thesandwichbazaar.com/summer-market

Then we lathered on sunscreen and took our kayaks to Bourne, Massachusetts.  We wanted a light lunch before we peddled (we have peddle kayaks, not a typo) so we stopped at one of our favorite places; The Lobster Trap for a stuffed quahog and a beer. I ordered a Leinenkugel Summer Shanty (low alcohol, lemony & refreshing) and the rep. for Leinenkugel was seated next to us so our beers were on him.  A nice surprise.

If you don’t know what a stuffed quahog is I have to share with you.  This seafood item is one of the reasons I married my husband.  That was about 25 years ago.  It’s a clam, cooked, chopped and mixed with stuffing, chorizo (a spicy Portuguese sausage that goes beautifully with seafood), celery, onion, garlic and then put back into the shell and baked. You then cover them with butter, a squeeze of lemon (and for me TABASCO sauce) and enjoy.

Jeff wrote this story about them…funny how a stuffed clam can loom so large in our lives.

http://springtideleadership.com/2012/06/09/how-to-make-the-perfect-stuffed-quahog/

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http://www.lobstertrap.net/home

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http://www.sturgisboatworks.com/ (Where we got these boats.)

Next we took our Hobie peddle kayaks to Monument Beach and unloaded them.  They are fast so you can cover a lot of territory.  I personally couldn’t paddle as far as I can peddle.  We’ve never been boaters and we never have the right gear for anything we do, but I have to admit that these boats have been a blast.  I love seeing the world from the vantage point of the water.

We watched young osprey about to take their first flight (the parents were encouraging them in a tone not unlike mine when I’m trying to get my teenagers to do something). Sorry kids. It wasn’t a pretty birdsong, but watching them was fascinating.

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We heard people laughing on the beach, zig zagged between moored sailboats, saw amazing houses and got to the rough seas at the start of the Cape Cod Canal channel near Mashnee Island…we quickly turned around though to explore calmer waters. I like a little danger in my kayaking, but I’m not stupid.  We went into the Eel River which was stunning.  We saw cranes, oyster beds and homes right on the water that gave it that swampy feeling and with the canopy of the trees it was really cool.

The beauty of this day—alone with my husband on an adventure, free beer, a stuffed quahog, seeing wildlife, getting exercise, fresh air and learning how to read the sea was pretty wonderful.

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After a swim to cool off and loading up the kayaks we headed home to shower and take off for a Neil Young concert at the Xfinity Center.  It was a great show—amazing people watching.  Neil Young is probably the musician that informed my young life the most during my freshman year of college in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (University of Sioux Falls, formerly Sioux Falls College—back in the day). Oh, and we didn’t know they were coming but Jeff’s brother, Joe and his wife Gretchen were there too…another fun surprise of the day.

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I’m not writing this to tell you how awesome my life is.  I’m writing this to encourage everyone to really take notice of those special days and moments in our lives.  We need them to call upon during our darker times.  Honor those days.  It makes life sweet.