The subject is sheer delight. I tied up to the town pumpout station next to the Coast Guard station on Star Island in Montauk on Monday, late morning. While I offloaded what needed to be gone and topped off my water supply, what looked to be a family — a man, a child about 9, and a woman — were fishing off the end of the town dock.
Flow. It’s what we want, not hangs. I have a friend who moved way down south to a dirt-road town called Pavones. It’s located on the southeast side of the Sweet Gulf, Golfo Dulce, not far from the Panamanian border, where some of the finest waves in the world peel along the Costa Rican coastline.
On Friday afternoon, Chris Harmon of East Hampton, one of the more outstanding surfers to grow out of Long Island waves, crouched, nearly knelt, before a finely shaped length of fiberglass-coated polyurethane foam, virtually flat, the nose of it pointed with a forked tail, two fins, a red deck, and white bottom.
A shiver of sand tiger sharks approached the beach from the south in downtown Montauk and a large body of bluefish that were hunting schools of smaller prey concentrated between the sharks and a bloat of boogie boarders.
Sendero Luminoso, the organization of Maoist revolutionaries of Peru, always comes to mind when I’m offshore on a boat that’s shark fishing. This only makes sense because of the dream state one drifts into while, well, drifting, as the crew spills ground fish and fish chunks overboard to create un sendero luminoso, a shining path that wanders toward the horizon as time passes, a route for hungry sharks to follow until they meet the boat’s baited hooks.
My son-in-law stood over the stove Monday evening stirring diced vegetables that would go into bass cakes along with a medley of spices, an egg as binder, and crackers crumbled by hand. The 40-pound striped bass providing the substance of the cakes was speared on Saturday by the same man stirring the veggies.
This season’s no-kill shark fishing tournament is named the Carl Darenberg Memorial Shark’s Eye Tournament after the late owner of the Montauk Marine Basin who broke with precedent by maintaining the Marine Basin’s exciting tradition of shark tournaments while sparing the lives of sharks.
I had lunch at the Inlet Seafood restaurant in Montauk on Monday afternoon. There were five of us, one of whom pulled out his smartphone as we waited with delicious anticipation for sushi, mussels, and broiled mahi sandwiches.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Walter handed the helm to incoming Senior Chief Petty Officer Eric Best. He then retired after 21 years of service to his country, and, by all accounts, extraordinary service to the Montauk and East Hampton communities during his last assignment.