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  •     There’s more to fishing than the catch, and whether they say it or not, fishermen pursue more than fish when they take to the sea to face both its healing and destructive powers.

  •    “Dreary” has gotten a bad rap. The word might have been used Labor Day afternoon in the soft fog and light drizzle that shrouded Hither Woods as seen from the end of the town pier that juts into Fort Pond Bay, where members of several families cut clam baits on the wooden railings and fished for porgies. The words of the children flowed effortlessly from English to Spanish and back again, their tongues deciding which of them best fit the nuance at hand. Chinese was spoken, Japanese, and something Slavic. Laughter was the lingua franca.

  •    The plan was to sail the sloop Leilani to the porgy grounds on the east side of Gardiner’s Island from Montauk Harbor on Sunday, preparing clam baits along the way. We’d done it before: stayed the night at an anchorage in the cove on the north side of the island, and feasted on grilled porgy washed down with a glass or two of wine, making the return trip the next morning.

  •    The days pass, sunrise to sunset, and we go about our business for the most part unaware of the mythology that springs from our time and winds through our lives, felt but unseen, like an undercurrent. Once in a while the current, with its demigods and siren songs, comes to the surface as it did last week.

  •     Kenny Bouse described how he and his brother began their fishing careers in Montauk 62 years ago this way:
        “We took off from Bay Shore on an old ’51 flathead Harley. We didn’t know where the hell we were going. We got to the Lighthouse. I said, ‘What do we do now that the road stops.’ We found some Bubbies haulseining and they told us how to get to the docks.”

  •     The party on the banks of Fort Pond Bay in Montauk Sunday celebrated the rescue of John Aldridge after his surviving 12 hours at sea over 30 miles offshore with the help of buoyant rubber boots. He was known as Johnny Load, a nickname with undefined coinage. He is now known as Johnny Boots.

  • Montauk lobsterman recalls his 12 hours at sea, ending in dramatic rescue
  •     It might have been an illusion, but the events that took place offshore of Montauk during the last week of July 2013 tended toward the supernatural.
        Taken together, the whales breaching, the thousands of dolphins, the lobsterman lost overboard who survived by his wits, the tenacity of the Coast Guard, and also by a community’s prayers and will to find him, were the stuff and color of legend.

  • A Montauk lobsterman was rescued this afternoon by the Coast Guard after surviving at least 12 hours in the ocean south of Montauk.
  •     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.

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