The eve of adventure

Posted 10/12/22

I don’t recall ever writing a multi-part column before. I prefer to keep my stories concise and gratifying to the loyal reader as well as the perchance peruser.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The eve of adventure


I don’t recall ever writing a multi-part column before. I prefer to keep my stories concise and gratifying to the loyal reader as well as the perchance peruser. 

In any case, I’m sitting here gathering my thoughts on the eve of an adventure that has been a goal of mine since childhood. Organizing it has been two years in the works.  With such an event so close, I not only felt it difficult to focus on other topics, but felt it worth the effort of dramatizing the saga over two issues of the River Reporter.

In mere hours, I will be getting in my truck to drive down to New Jersey, where my father and my brother-in-law and a few other friends and family will be tuna-fishing with a charter boat we booked. 

Originally this trip was to occur a few weeks ago, but the weather demanded we reschedule. 

When I was a kid, my dad would leave on trips every so often, due to what I believe was his own call to adventure. Sometimes he would go on a hunting trip, other times a fishing trip, and sometimes he would go to hunting and fishing conventions out of state to drum up business for his own guiding outfit. 

In any case, it was easy to imagine the thrills of these adventures, and how they might appeal to me in my own future. 

When I was around 10, my father took a trip to the Gulf of Mexico to fish for sport fish, and managed to catch himself a large sailfish. It’s documented in a victorious picture, in which, atop their boat, he holds the powerful fish with the help of two others. He’s still wearing his fighting belt and a large smile—a dream fulfilled, captured in a single image. 

Another time, he traveled to Chama, NM to hunt elk; yet another time, he sought the trophy-class rack of a Saskatchewan whitetail deer. 

As I watched my dad leave on his adventures, it became difficult not to acquire my own thirst for triumph through a battle with nature. 

My dad is keen to point out that some folks wait a lifetime just to experience even one of these adventures. 

As I recount the many that he has pursued, I am left with two thoughts: it is indeed a blessing to be able to have these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and that it is important to have aspirations. Without that, would we form goals? Would we be motivated? What would we achieve?

Tuna is only found far out to sea. I can only imagine the aspirations that brought man out that far to find that bounty. We couldn’t have known the fish were there until they were discovered, either by sight from an ocean traveler, or by a fisherman who wandered far beyond the sight of land to strike out at the unknown. And although we know that tuna are there today, it still takes a drive to seek them where they dwell beneath the secrecy of the salty veil. 

I sometimes hear folks talk about how little is left to be discovered, which I would personally disagree with. The danger of a thought like that is it means discovery will never be a personal experience. 

Have tuna been discovered? Obviously yes, for quite some time. But have I ever delved into the vastness of the ocean in pursuit of powerful quarry? Have I held the rod and reel and felt the burning of my arms as I strained against the strength of this aquatic beast? Have I personally held the tail of my victory for that snapshot of a dream, to be recalled with fondness for years to come?

The way out here, we live for the dreams we are inspired by, that continue to inspire the hearts of our children, who look to us as champions. So in mere hours, I set out on my adventure, achieving this benchmark with my own father, looking back at my childhood aspirations, and forward with hopes and dreams of giving my sons the same opportunities.

Until my next column, keep dreaming of your adventures and seek to make them a reality.

fishing trip, story, reflection


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here