The Gulf

I am dying for some ocean time.

A combination of of my social media feeds, my subscription to Gray’s Sporting Journal, and an audio book called “The Gulf” I’ve been listening to have thoroughly spurred my desire to be near the ocean. The people I’ve been closest in my life have always described me as a “water baby”, and that’s probably an accurate attribution. I need a regular recharge of salt water to keep my head right. It’s been about a year since I’ve been near the coast, with our last trip being August of 2019, and I feel it’s pull. Maybe, maybe things will work out this year, even maybe into the fall for us to take a trip down there, though the COVID situation makes it questionable at best. I’m certain that folks are going, but with the numbers being the way they are, it makes me worry, and I feel like I’d be insincere with the things I’ve been telling my family and kids if I suddenly say “hey let’s load up!”.

Not to say I wouldn’t still do that though. Maybe with just Jack, or Jack and Grace. The two of them still love fishing, especially Jackson, though I’m not entirely sure Grace doesn’t just like showing up Jack more than actually fishing. Regardless, she loves the ocean, and she still likes doing things with me, which carries a good bit of weight. When I took them together last spring for the white bass and late season trout on the San Gabriel, they both did well, and were pretty enthused about the whole thing.

Last week, out of the blue, Torrie came and asked if she could use my tackle box, because her friend Lauren wanted to go fishing. I gave it to her, though they ended up talking themselves out of it in the long run. In fairness, it was late in the day, and very hot, nothing was likely to be biting by then anyway. She was really the first fisherman in the family after me, having gone with my mom numerous times when she was a kid. One of my favorite pictures of her has her sitting on the dock casting out into the water while my mom preps another rod in the background.

I don’t always have to be doing anything when I’m at the coast. Sometimes it’s just driving along the roads on the intercoastal canal, or the bayside fringe that does it. When Sam and I lived in Galveston, I would often come home from work and just sit on the seawall for a while before heading inside. I always enjoyed a good strong storm blowing in off the gulf. It’s one of the things you really don’t appreciate if you don’t live there because people typically tend not to travel to the coast when the weather is bad. We loved to sit and watch the front blowing in from miles out, slowly darkening the blue sky and water to a dark, intimidating grey.

Jack and I have been planning a trip down to fish for a few weeks, hoping we’d get a break in the COVID that would let us get some time in the surf, but it looks like if we do, we’ll be a couple of outlaws. I’m not closing the door on the idea yet, though, and we will continue planning, so that if a little ray of light comes through for us, we’re in the position to take advantage of it.

It’s the sound…

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