Think of the cold air that blew into town this week as a crystal clear lens provided for viewing the night sky, especially on Monday in Montauk, where there is virtually no ground light to interfere.
The crescent moon was bright enough to make you squint, and Venus just below and to the right nearly so. Jupiter hung directly below Venus and if one were fortunate to have a telescope or even powerful binoculars, its moons would have been visible. On Tuesday night Venus was at its farthest point from the sun.
Spring, the vernal equinox, the season of rebirth, sprang in the early morning hours on Tuesday with its promise that all living things, including fish, will return for another go-round.
Every culture has celebrated the equinox — when the center of the sun is on the same plane as the earth’s equator — in one way or another, even in Amagansett. One such annual fete took place in the home of Harvey Bennett, owner of the Tackle Shop in Amagansett. According to Bennett, the solemn ceremony went like this:
A diorama of Montauk’s original fishing village is the first thing visitors see when they walk through the door of the East Hampton Town Marine Museum on Bluff Road, Amagansett. There’s a reason. Nothing represents the history of fishing in Montauk better than the community on Fort Pond Bay of hardy fishing families, which was all but wiped out by the 1938 Hurricane.
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Where has all the smoked whiting gone? There was a time when it seemed smoked whiting was everywhere. Bars in Montauk put it out for snacks. Not putting out a smoked whiting appetizer at Christmastime was considered a grave social faux pas. In barter transactions, smoked whiting was stable currency.