Tag Archive: fishing lessons


What is it that pulls at us?

I think my soul knows, but my conscious mind only has hints of what it really is.

I say it’s the adrenaline of the moment, it’s the environment, it’s the ambiance or the camaraderie… but that isn’t what I SEE when I look at an image of the sport in action.

The image speaks to me on so many levels. It nearly brings tears to my eyes before I want to laugh at the joy I know is behind that unintentional and seemingly cocky fisherman’s smirk.

I know this man’s pride of showing the catch and the growing remorse, helpless to delay the fleeting unity, squeezing every drop of pleasure from this climactic moment, and the eye’s fading memory of the escaping creature returned to the waters is like the shadow of the sun through a closed eyelid.

In that funny hat is this fisherman’s indifference to fashion and preference for function.

In those sturdy stiffening fingers is resilience and measured tenderness.

I see shoulders that bore a life of trials bolstered by faith and rationed with conformity. A tough stubborn jaw that is resolute and held the foundations firm.

I realize the common thread in the images of fishing I enjoy isn’t the fish caught or the fisherman’s posture extending a prize before the envious, but rather it is the water. Its form and color. Its depth and breadth. It too has limitations, but never ceases to crash against the rocks that restrict its freedom. It holds treasures within and always calls to those that have a least one of the five scenes.

I fish because the water calls me and because I have been one with it, and will so again. I hope.

A human life, as beautiful as it is, must be lived isolated and with division from everything around it, in a constant effort to connect; to be one with something, anything, everything, and just be.. for a moment. To stay in that moment, until unity flees to the depths at its first opportunity.

For me and for many, Fishing is a path to the cipher of life’s mystery, giving us only pieces of the code each time we cast our lines to discover… what the waters hold.

A catch, of sorts.

A catch, of sorts.

While working in the Port of Sao Tomé this week, I happened to witness this unsuccessful attempt by the local Navy to land one of their patrol boats. It was just off-loaded from a freight vessel. With almost 30 men and a Unimog this very heavy, boat couldn’t be pulled up the ramp. The armored Boston Whaler was donated to the Navy by a foreign government or other international body.

The way these donations usually work is that the donating organization procures the equipment in question, while the recipient country makes a committment to maintenance and infrastructure. It can be kind of like giving a puppy to a 6-year-old who promises to feed and walk it. The intention is there, but the capacity? Continue reading

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