Friday, July 1, 2011

Elephants and Flowers

One thing about fishing is waking form a dead sleep then finding yourself working on deck just moments after.  And, if you are a vivid dreamer, like me, this can be quite disorientating.  Example, I am fortunate that, through much practice, can sleep anywhere, anytime, in any position.  Years of working on boats, on top of years of travel, has given me lots of practice of catching cat naps round the clock.   Over the years I have perfected this art.  It comes in handy.  During our fishing openers sleep is often catch as catch can.  There is nothing worse than laying in your bunk counting away the precious minutes allotted for sleep. I did this once in Bristol Bay.  I climbed into bunky with four hours of sleep, then tossed and turned for hours.  Three hours of sleep.  Two and a half hours of sleep…you get the picture.  Once they are gone, they are gone.  However, nowadays, I’m out as soon and sometime slightly before, my head hits the pillow.  I can even have colorful dreams in a 20 minute cat nap.  Just the other day I was dreaming that a helicopter  dropped off a baby elephant on our deck.  I was examining its feet and pondering how funny elephant’s feet are.  Unlike most things on earth, like humans or cats who have feet that protrude, elephant’s feet are shaped more like a hoofed animal, like a horse.  Only they don’t have hoofs, unless maybe that is what their ‘toes’ are.  In my dream, I was contemplating this as the chopper was lowering the baby elephant on deck.  At that very moment, skipper woke me up.  We were anchored in Buckles Hole in 25 feet of water.  But the wind had changed, swinging us into 4 feet of water and our stern almost of the beach.  Going dry is embarrassing.  I look at the GPS and see that it is 3:51 AM.  My eyes continue to scan, moving from the GPS to the bow.  “Where is the elephant?” I ask myself.  As if it is perfectly normal to have an elephant on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska.
Later that same day, I again got a short siesta.  This time I drifted off to a tropical party complete with cats and beluga whales.  It was so nice to be in a skirt in the warm weather.  It was green and lush and fragrant with flowers.  After watching the belugas frolic with the cats, it was time to head into the party.  Before I started down the narrow dirt trail surrounded by leafy green foliage, someone, I didn’t see who, was lining the path with flower petals.  I could feel the cool damp, yet velvet y soft flora under my feet. 
Then we had to pick up the net.  I roll out of the bunk plunking my feet on the cold blue linoleum wonder where the flowers went.  Usually, I keep these amazements to myself.  But, sometimes, in my stupor, I slip. In the midst of different dream I could hear a knocking at the door.  I, apparently, awoke asking the skipper who was at the door.  Yesterday after a nap skipper asked me if I got any sleep and I replied “I don’t know.”  And I didn’t.  I couldn’t tell if I had slept or not….so I’m guessing I did. 
That’s the haps this week. Until next time, eat fish!  

OK, I’m out.

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