14 November 2015

Gone fishin’

Some people fish from the shore, in the sound or in the inlet. They don't have to worry about big waves washing their chairs and tackle away, unless an ocean-going ship glides by and throws up a big wake. The bluefish might be running right now — I think it's their season.

Others fish on the ocean side of the barrier island. On this particular day, there weren't many big waves for the surf-casters to worry about. At this particular point on the beach strand, there is access for drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles, letting them go right down to the water's edge.

Birds fish too. Below you see some pelicans, which have made a big come-back on the North Carolina coast since the days when DDT was widely used as a pesticide. Back when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we didn't see pelicans around here. They look kind of prehistoric, don't they?

Other people just gather on the beach to enjoy the sand, sun, and surf. Some of them feed the seagulls — probably not a good idea, but you can't really stop people from doing it. In the background, you see one of the two remaining fishing piers on Bogue Banks.

Back in the 1960s, there were 8 or 10 piers along the 25-mile beach strand — Triple-S, Oeanana, Sportsman's, The Iron Steamer, Thompson's Steel Pier, The Bogue Inlet Pier, and more. When I was in college at Duke, I would come home in June and spend the summer working at Sportsman's Pier. The summer after my first stay in France (1970), I worked there as a short-order cook on the night shift, 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., making hamburgers, hot dogs, and egg sandwiches for sleepy fishermen and other night owls. The sunrises over the ocean were spectacular, and huge schools of fish — albacore, mullets — and porpoises (bottlenose dolphins) would swim by at dawn.


  1. Glad you and CHM are over there...
    you'll both know people in Paris who aren't...
    so hope nobody you know was caught up in it...
    I've written my thoughts on Walt's blog.

    And on a completely different tack...
    you are probably right about those Bellycans...
    it is generally accepted that birds are descended from the dinosaurs that survived!
    Keep well, keep safe,

  2. Beautiful photos.

    Here at our SoCal beaches, the seagulls have got the whole fast food thing figured out,

    Don't even think that you can spread your towel and leave your chips or a deli lunch in your beach bag, while you head for a leisurely swim. They will fly in and dig through everything in your bag. I have seen them fly off with bags of chips, and french fries (their favorite), and turn sodas or tea with plastic tops on the side, then peck them so they can drink them dry. Best to finish all the food, then swim, because they are a lot quicker than you.

    Glad you and chm are safe and thinking of the kind people of Paris.

  3. I guess there's a strange disconnect between my posts from N.C. and what has happened in Paris. That's what life is like when you live in two countries and travel back and forth. I wonder what flying back to Paris on Monday is going to be like -- assuming I'll be able to fly back on Monday as scheduled.

  4. Bonjour Ken,

    Flights into CDG are still on and since you are on AF, you will be able to fly back but expect long delays at passport controls. Sis landed in Beirut on last Thursday morning from DC (for work) and as soon as she got to her hotel , bombs went off in South Beirut . Next wednesday she is flying back via CDG and she is expecting long delays since she is travelling from a hot spot.

    1. Thanks for that information, N. I feel for your sister. I hope the lines at passport control are not so long that I'll miss my
      TGV back to Tours. I have two hours between landing at CDG and the TGV departure time.

    2. Ken, I'm hoping for safe, stress-free travels for you Monday. My heavens. Words can not adequately express our shock and horror at what kind of screwed-up thinking has taken over the minds of so many who are filled with so much mis-directed and undeserved hatred.

  5. No wonder you are such a good cook with early experience like that. Seeing the sunrises like you've described must have been like getting bonus pay and a reward for working the night shift. I love pelicans and glad that we decided to stop killing them.

    1. That job as a short-order cook at the fishing pier was when I starting cooking, so you are right. Then I learned to cook even better when I lived in Rouen in 1972-73. A French friend taught me a lot about food and cooking techniques. That was good, because I didn't make enough money to be able to eat in restaurants all the time. I'm really happy to have the pelicans here again too.

  6. When I was small, we had our own lake ... my dad had it stocked with perch. He would go fishing, his form of meditation.
    I was sometimes invited along. My own little pole and I learned how to Sit Still and Be Quiet .. or the fish will run away. ..
    I always caught at least one fish .. then dad stopped bringing me with him. My ever so diplomatic mother told me it was because he never caught anything but I did.

    1. I so miss perch! I ate it often when I lived in Chicago. Here in California, it is unheard of. Nice story, NotesFromAbroad.


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