When the days start to stretch and the snow melts
The west wind blows hard, but the bitter bite is gone
The hibernating oyster farmer stretches his arms out, views the sunrise over the Bay, and assess if the wind will let up long enough to harvest the market oysters
The work piles up but the weather is stubborn
The west wind turns north and the snow falls
The cold gray water looks unforgiving as it splashes through the scuppers, and out the stern of the open transom on the way back home
Slowly the boat chugs through the fog
Leaving a wake that disappears into the abyss
The islands appear like an aberration only to disappear behind their veil, unnerving if you are lost, but mystical if you are familiar with the waterway
Sometimes you look at a scene so long that it becomes mundane, it losses the allure that was once there when it was new and exciting. To me, that is why seasons are so important. They take the same scene and shift it gradually over the course of a year until it comes back around full circle. It creates a new allure to watch the cycles of nature, and try to make sense of something that is much more complex than we could ever comprehend.
So here we are again in the late winter, anticipating the spring and summer. Lately we have been harvesting sets thick with biofouling, but also stocked with first class oysters. We have been setting out seed rope to catch the all-natural mussel set at our farm. Also we are planning on a major overhaul of our farm beginning this spring, that will increase our grow-out area significantly, and decrease our headaches substantially (if all goes to plan).
It is a lot to take in sometimes when you think about all the projects before us, but if you take it step by step things start to sort themselves out.
Several months later
Now we are halfway through the planting season for oysters, and still going strong. The spring was kind to us, and we were able to clean up the overwintered oysters along with all the other projects that prepare us for the summers rush. Still running into kinks here and there with breakdowns and setbacks, but due to our due diligence we are able to hurdle or side step these trivial events, and work around them as well as through them.
For example: hydraulic line on crane blew out last week and the boat was out of commission for a couple days. While waiting for parts to fix the crane we hammered out all this gear work that has been sitting on the back burner for some time. Now the hydraulic line is fixed and we are back in action on the boat with all our loose ends tied up on shore.
The weather is grey today, but we got to things to do anyway, hop on the boat and sail away, to the same place we go everyday.
Fighting that stinging feeling, when I open my eyes and look at the ceiling, and there’s nothing as appealing, as lying down but my mind is reeling… so…
Jump out of bed like your life won’t wait, jump in the water to invigorate, your senses are singing the spring has come and gone, summer is upon us but it won’t be here for long.