Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 14 August 2015

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Coos Bay, Oregon Coast

We're at my favorite spot on the Oregon Coast. This is where I saw the red Coast Guard helicopter rescue diver pluck four dead bodies out of the water. Their boat overturned crossing the bar. The orange life jackets and the boat washed up on the beach, but the bodies kept floating offshore.
One thought struck me
As an ice cube swallowed
that falls near the heart
And just lays there coldly burning
Into fear itself: 
‘When you die
You're part of the furniture.’
Then I whispered
Covered his face
And left
-Ronberge (anno tercio)

I go out again with Captain Bill on a 6 AM, five hour, rockfish hunt. He has a high tech fish finder with a 100 foot conical range that tells him the number of fish and their sizes. It seems a little unfair to the fish, but I limit out on seven big black rockfish in a couple of hours. I borrowed a lingcod jig from a garrulous old submariner (my age) who I have been pumping for sub stories on the way out. I use the jig to catch a ling that fillets out to three pounds or four meals. The rockfish each yield two fillets that weigh a pound total, a good weight for dinner for two. We've eaten them twice so far...they have they consistency of halibut and a hint of swordfish flavor.

I find a magic place on my walk today. It's on a cliff that allows access to a deserted beach by lowering yourself with a rope anchored to a tree. I'll make breakfast sandwiches and coffee and take Mrs. Phred to see it in the morning.

Mrs. Phred on the beach. We've been here four nights, which is something of a personal record for being in one place. The white line keeps me asking what's up the road?

Strange things grow on our planet and in the ocean. I'm sorry I forgot my wetsuit. The swimming looks great except for the 55 degree water temperature.

Down the road is a colony of several thousand barking seals.

Crabs are very big along the coast. I buy Mrs. Phred a Crab Louie for here lunch in Winchester Bay today. Next October they will have a community college shooting massacre here that will leave ten dead.

This is the right lower jaw of a 60 foot humpback whale that washed up on the beach near the Umpqua Lighthouse in 1991. We're heading inland in the morning to an RV park about midway between Crater Lake and the whitewater rafting in Bend.

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