Wave Riding People

Wave Riding People

For All Those Who Make Their Living on the Sea

They say the ocean covers the Earth seven times more than land and most of the wealth here on Earth, it holds within its hand. Waters blue and full of food, it gives us what we need. We sail on top to get around. We wade in to our knees. We go to the beach to watch the waves and spend our weekends there. Then we go home to take a bath and wash the sand out of our hair.

Some admit it, most wouldn’t dare, but the sea is something that gives us all a scare, but there are those, they are few I agree, that are just plain different from you and me. These are those who ride the waves, they put their life on the line day by day. They know a secret they learned from the wind, when the green water was pounding again and again.

In one nights’ watch, when it’s blowing out there, they live life so full it would grey our hair.

They hunt for a prey that they can’t see, with traps, hooks and net stacked on deck to their knees. They know where the salmon feed when the sun is bright. They know where the shrimp play late at night. Could you set a trap for a coon or a spot? Do you use a flasher when it’s cloudy and hot, and how about a lead line, does it go on bottom or top?

It could take your whole life to learn just these things, but then there’s the water, the weather and the machines. Is the tide right? How many knots when it ebbs? Was that a deadhead I saw over there? The barometer is falling, we better beware. The engine is sluggish, I’ll fix it tonight.

Check the radar and sonar, set alarms, drop your gear. These are the things you are likely to hear. Mechanic, electrician, electronic repair, mechanical engineer, shipwright, master carpenter, are just to name a few. All these things and more are in one pair of rubber shoes. They hear songs in the wind when the bow breaks a wave. They’re just different from us, that’s all I can say.

So the next time you’re sitting with your feet on dry land , dipping shrimp in the red sauce and feeling quite grand, think where it came from and please say a prayer for those wave riding people with wind in their hair.

By Billy Bryan Brown
F/V Orca

2001

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