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Sunday, June 21, 1998

Kayak Morning
Happy Father's Day

So there I was, at 8 A.M., launching my kayak from Preston Beach in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

It was foggy to say the least, but it was warm, and the water was warm, too. After I straightened out my fly rod , it was ungodly screwed up, and started casting around in the fog and incoming tide. Before long I had a schooly (that's a small striper) on the line and after a gentle battle I landed the fish. This time of year they still have their winter colors, greens and blues, but as the water warms they became grayer and browner. They are always beautiful, but I love the cold water colors.

I worked my way around Little's Point, across Devereux, and around the Neck, where an interesting thing occurred. I was casting in the surge, and when I say that I mean truly "in" it. A kayak, with an experienced paddler is very seaworthy, as many people don't know. So I like to cast in the actual surge around the rocks where the waves hit and return. At times the spray from the rocks was pelting me and my kayak like a sheeting rain, on the fly. It made me laugh, it was so immersing and involving... and the fish were biting. If someone saw me from out to sea they might think I was in trouble, but in fact I was in heaven, fighting the surf, fishing and getting soaked. After a half hour or so of that, I resumed paddling along, now trolling my flyline. As I rounded a point of rocks, I suddenly entered a field of sea foam, perhaps two or three acres in size. Now, I was paddling through this beautiful, clean white foam, perhaps two and a half feet high. The entire kayak was hidden and the foam was up to my chest, almost to my neck at some points. This really made me laugh. The ocean was being very generous today with its experiences. And, I wished each of you could have been there with me. I couldn't photograph it, because my camera was in the cockpit dry sack, and out of reach. To get it out would have risked getting it very, very wet. (After all what is sea foam?... just seawater whipped up.) So, you'll have to take my word for it. The foam was so thick that my kayak actually left a clean streak behind which stayed for a while; like a finger through whipped cream. I tried to write "love," in it, paddling out the letters, but kayaks turned widely so I could never see the whole thing. Imagine someone flying overhead, seeing a lone kayaker paddling out "love" in a field of sea foam on a foggy morning in June. But only the seagulls and the stripers were there for witnesses. After that I continued on the way, fishing, paddling, laughing in the fog for a total of seven hours on Father's Day.

Then I watched the US Open, and had a T-bone for dinner. Hope your Ftaher's Day was as good. Or, if you're not a Dad, I hope you know that it doesn't take a lot to make us happy, it just takes some understanding. And a little gentleness beneath all the honesty. See you next time.

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