It’s likely we were put on this earth, or, depending on your point of view, we evolved on this earth, for no other reason than to bear witness. Homo sapiens seem to have no other meaningful purpose. From a global point of view, we tend to muddle things up when we act. Best to just keep our hands in our pockets and watch and, as a few East End witnesses did this past week, marvel.
Nick Joeckel laughed, sort of, in telling how customs agents shook him down for two brand-new pairs of sunglasses in the Jakarta airport on the way back from a 10-day odyssey during which he surfed some of the best waves on the planet with 10 friends who had dreamed of surfing Indonesia together since they were kids.
They returned on June 22 bruised and cut from bouncing off the reefs of the Mentawai chain of islands, but with surfing batteries fully charged.
What’s with the wind? It has come out of the west and southwest every day for the past two weeks now. A southwest wind prevails this time of year, but not at 20-knots plus, and not with so much accent on the westerly component. The pattern has kept small-boat operators at bay, especially in the afternoon.
The recent passing of the bayman Wayne Vorpahl at the age of 49 caused this observer to mourn the loss to the community of people whose lives and livelihoods depended on an understanding of nature’s rhythms.
Wayne knew where the clams were and why. He knew where the bass were and why. Same with crabs and oysters and striped bass and any of the creatures we share this place with.
“Moooooooooooo,” was what Brian Ritter heard when he answered the phone at 4 in the morning one week ago. He recognized the voice, and he needed no translation. It was Mike Coppola telling him he’d caught a big cow, a female of the species Morone saxatilis, a striped bass.
Of course, the big news is the 44.7-pound striped bass that the surfcaster Ben McCarron caught on Saturday under the Montauk Lighthouse on a bucktail. The big bass puts McCarron in first place in the Montauk SurfMasters spring tournament, and the fish beat the competition in the weekend tournament held from Paulie’s Tackle Shop in Montauk.