Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wandering Wednesday

Today we wander down to my dock, which was built by my father and some of his friends many moons ago. The dock is a museum filled with things that haven't moved or changed since Walter Cronkite delivered the evening news I was a kid.

For example, a bucket full of gill nets is still there in spite of multiple hurricanes and countless nor'easters.

I used to go out with my father on cold, rough days to help him haul those very same nets in.  Although at the time I hated it wasn't particularly fond of those trips, I did learn a lot and in hindsight am very grateful for those times.

No matter how much the wind was blowin', or how cold you were, or how much something on that boat stunk, eventually it was time to turn green  head home and the whole thing was behind you. Plus, how many girls can say their fathers took them to fish gill nets?  (Ann Marie, put your hand down.)

Since I'm not even showing pictures of the gill nets, let's move on to something else, like the view from the old fish cleaning area below.

This was a covered area rigged with disco lights so they could clean at night.  Windows provided protection from the northeasterly winds and horizontal rain.

  My father and his buddies often came home with what seemed like hundreds of fish to clean.We always ran out to the dock to see how many they caught.  But you wouldn't find me hanging around too long once they started cutting. Blech.

Inside the boat house, there are some oyster tongs. Of course, Chesapeake Bay Woman has been known to incorrectly identify things once or twice a week on this blog, but I have no doubt that someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

But to the best of my knowledge, these are oyster tongs.

This is the dock inside the boat house.  I sort of liked all the lines and angles in this particular shot, especially the triangle of sun. The squiggly lines of the rope and that dangling wire add to the fiesta of shapes.  But I tend to say weird things like fiesta of shapes focus in on weird things, so don't pay me any mind.

Speaking of weird, below is a strange angle of the aforementioned fish cleaning table.  Notice the missing dock planks there on the right.

This old dock, while in need of some TLC and attention, is full of many wonderful memories and never fails to make me feel good whenever I go down there for a visit. (Unless that visit is during a nor'easter and I am wading through knee-high tide to retrieve lawn furniture.  For example.)

If you have any fond memories of a dock, please feel free to share them.  If you've ever fished gill nets, I'd like to hear about that too. If you've never heard of gill nets, Ann Marie will explain what they are since I won't be back on here until very late tonight or tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday.


deborah said...

Not a clue about any of the equipment, but I am enjoying the pictures! You always have the most awesome photos of interesting things. Even oyster tongs.

BayBrowder said...

I love docks(piers).....especially old ones. Mathews County is a water wonderland with a million. Yours is a gem.

Ann Marie said...

1. oyster tongs.. clam rakes.. so you get a point there.
2. if your gill nets fit in a bucket... well that is a premature infant gill net.. when you have put them in a 50 gallon barrel then come back and talk to me :)

Gill nets how do you explain gill nets.. they are long nets that the men (or in the case of CBW and I small children) run out of a boat with buoys and anchors and weights attached to them (unless of course yours are in a bucket then I doubt you have buoys and anchors) you allow them to sit for a bit then you haul them back into the boat untangling very smelly fish as you go.

by smelly I mean almost make you puke smelly but as my grandfather said.. that is the smell of money.

The reason for the NAME gill net is that what is supposed to happen is the fish attempts to swim through the net and kinda like a fat kid trying to get a piece of cake through a doggie door gets stuck half way.. when the little fish tries to back out he gets all tangled up in the net with his gills.

Going to cross post over at my blog.. just in case there are follow up questions.


Ann Marie said...

post up.

Unknown said...

I would like for someone to tell ME why no one took ME gill netting..

either out of a bucket OR a barrel..

why i ask.. WHY????

Jamie said...

UGH! I remember gill nets (have an explanation and photo on my blog somewhere). The fun part was when you'd go see what you caught and if you were lucky there would be a sand shark.

On a totally different not- my darling daughter was the hero in last night's game against the undeafeated Eagles field hockey team. We won in overtime 1-0 and Bridget had 22 saves as goalie. I'm just too proud not to gush.

Mental P Mama said...

LOL @Ann Marie. And, I love your dock. I love everything about it. Oyster tong/rake/comb/brushes and all....

Diane said...

I know Gill Nets, have seen them used in Alaska many times. Have had to participate in the cleaning of halibut which by the way have huge guts and when you're running for the gut bucket... never mind. Not a memory to be cherished.

I love the photo with the angle of sunlight and the rope. That's a winner!

Daryl said...

Like deborah I dont get it but I do love looking at what you see ...

WV chillist .. even cooler than cool

Kay L. Davies said...

Beautiful photos, CBW.
My father was a sport fisherman but he insisted on teaching me things I didn't want to know, like baiting a hook. Ugh. I would not learn to clean a fish. That was his job.
When we were kids, my brother and I used to go down to the public dock on Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, to go fishing our dad and grandfather in their 14-foot boat, the MacD.
I loved the dock and could have sat there all day watching boats come and go. I also loved the MacD, but wasn't as keen on fishing as my brother was. I was better, however, than our sister, who always said, "Eeuuww, dead fish!" and ran away from us when we got home.
We also learned about coastal commercial fishing boats from our grandfather: how to tell a gillnetter from a seiner, etc. He and his brother ran fish canneries up and down the BC coast when my mother was young, so we also learned a lot about canning salmon.
I've now forgotten everything I ever knew about any of it, except for how gillnets got their name, which is pretty much the way Ann Marie explained it: the gills get stuck in the nets.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thanks, AM- it is definitely not a bucket on our dock, even though that's what I called it in the post. It's a huge barrel, and it is heavy enough to have been completely submerged by hurricane level tides and not move an inch.

My day is only half over - I need to clone myself, twice, and maybe I could get everything done that needs doing.

SErenity now.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I like the memory of our boat tied up to your dock!