This scene I understand. It is as known to me as the back of my hand. While I have not done this work, generations of fishing experience anchor my DNA. For three of my four grandparents and generations before them, fishing was a way of life.
Watching the boats and the seagulls on this beautiful spring day, it looks idyllic.
It belies the reality of this dangerous occupation. The changeable weather and the risks associated with working at sea in a small craft are not obvious watching these boats on this day.
While my history is associated with Newfoundland, this island has an agricultural history and a history in the fishery, going back for generations too. Hard work and hard times were a part of life on both islands.
At one time, the men rowed to the fishing grounds and the catch was salted. Today, the boats are bigger and faster, and a fish plant takes the catch. There are quotas, regulations, enforcement,
and standards in the industry, a twenty-first century fishery, very different from the one my ancestors knew.
This day, boats go in and out the inlet, like the ebb and flow of the tide.
Headed to the dock, they keep the green buoys to the port side,
to avoid the shoals. Some of the fishers clean out fish boxes on deck, as the gulls travel alongside,
watch and scramble for their share of the offal. From our place on the beach we can hear their bird excitement as they vie for a morsel, uttering the same sounds known to our ancestors.
The beauty of the scene today is a pleasant reminder of a proud heritage.