out he had a mustard-yellow shng rod n hs hand. e walked over and handedt to me.ere you go al! ood luck!hats ths asked.e cackled lke the gulls, adustng hs crotch. ts a sur rod! A nce out t or a kd! ne ooter, you can throw plugs wth t, pencls, tns, bucktals…you cansoak bat wth t!ddnt hear a word he sad, all could do was look at the rod, the gudes, andthe cork grps. put the two halves o the rod together. held t, the butt n my lethand, my rght ust north o the reel seat. could eel the energy generated by ustwgglng t slghtly. examned the reel as the evenng sun glnted o t. omepant had been chpped o, but t was dandy, n the way that a hevy elar sdandy. turned the crank, then pped the bal and watched t trp or the rst tme.dd t over and over agan, lstenng to the slghtly audble rng as the bal trpped.enn reene, he sad. hats a good reel! ll last you orever!nce, dont know what to say. ll take care o t. ll gve t back n greatshape!ah! ts yours!ut, whatll you useell! have a house ull o tackle! esdes, m to old to be hoppng aroundon ettes…you know, al!dont know what to say…thanks n.et out there and sh. he sad. e back here tomorrow at dnner tme!
One of Vince’s most important lessons
was that the sea s cruel. very tmehe took the
out, the ocean took a lttle bt back out o her. he hadnt beenservced all summer, and we set asde one partcular md-August day to heal her catalog o saltwater wounds. laughed as nce crouched, screamng obscentesat hs macerator. e stood up and spked the rag he was usng and aced me.hat knda man s your ather y ather s dead, answered.owd he de…alts a long story, sad.al… lost my dad when was young too, he sad.ea, howe ded when was n the servce.y ather was n the servce too, thnk.ea, dong what…aldont know.Aw, youre too much or me! al!hat do you meanoure too much or me, e cackled.e never talked about t, n. e always ust reerred to t as when he wasoverseas. ed say, ‘when we were overseas the natves spoke pdgn and ate rcebugs…you know…stu lke that.e was a ungle ghter, nce sad as he was an authorty, adustng hscrotch.ou thnk sobet you he was arnes.ere you a arneo, was avy.hat sounds nce, thnk was gonna on the servce d on the avy…beout on the water.o, al, t s hard work! And we got sunk three tmes…three tmes! orpedoes,nce shook hs head. e took a pu o hs av-A-ampa and wped the sweatrom hs brow wth hs orearm. he ocean doesnt look so bg when youre on aboat, but when youre sunk…hell, even the sky ant that bg.ut, you got rescued, rght.ea, sometmes, but not always! ometmes youre out there or days, weeks,oatng around. otta guys ded! ut theyre rough guys, al…the arnes.heyre rough guys!ea, sad watng or nce to make hs pont, knowng ull well there mghtnot be one.o…theyre rough guys! nce pued hs av-A-ampa and pcked up therag he had spked earler. onversatons wth nce ended as ast as they started,dsspatng wth the desel exhaust and the calls o the gulls. e went back to hsbckerng wth the macerator.
By July 4
of my second summer down the seashore
, nny oered me aull-tme work on the
. cuba was annoyed at rst, but havng me around madethngs easer on hm because dd all the hump work.e took the eght-hour trps to the udson anyon, leavng at two oclock n themornng, to the ul tream n search o tuna, marln, sword sh, sometmes shark,wahoo and dolphn. rst ate cuba and our sx-man charters would curl up nthe cabn to sleep, but stayed wth nce. loved beng up there on the brdge,so quet and hgh, ar enough away rom the roarng etrots that they soothedand relaxed me. he moon that nght was a spotlght shnng on the surace o ann nte mystery; t made me remember that never once wanted to mss the sunwhen t came up.onths beore, nce turned the
over to me. elt at home behnd the wheel,but stll elt uncomortable because ater all, ddnt have a lcense, and t washs boat named ater hs we.ou want to take over, n, asked.o, al…you keep t …youre a natural. can see t rght away!hanks, n.nce pued on hs av-a- ampa, savorng the smoke rom the wood-tppedcgar and gazng east. he sun was edgng ts way up, as though someone lt a candleand set t on the horzon. ea…al, he sad, keepng up hs gaze as lookng aths grandchldren. hat was one o the thngs loved about nce. ou ddnt haveto say anythng, no pressure to orce small talk – reedom to shut up.he sun was hgher now, no longer a candle but a spll o orange across a burnngsea. put on my sunglasses as pushed the
orward.hrottle back brother, throttle back, nce sad.me to do some shngou know, hah al…you know, he sad. e glanced at the sh nder andchecked the water temperature. e pulled hs pants way up n the ront so hewouldnt trp over the cus as he ran down the steps. m gonna go wake upthe sleepng erk-o, he sad, reerrng to cuba. low ahead brother…slowahead. e ran down the steps. edged the
east toward the sunrse and tooka deep breath.wshed my ather could see me – behnd the wheel o the
, rdng everyrpple and swell. e would love ths, thought. ed lke nce too. ad lked realpeople, and n was de ntely a real guy. esdes, thought, anyone who was myrend would have been hs rend too.couldnt breathe anymore, my chest tghtened, and choked on ble – a spke
New England’s Newest Maritime Dealer!
See Us At The New England Boat Show Boston Convention Center - February 20-28, 2010