December 14, 2013.
I was walking the beach today and I realized that Puddlejumper and Seabiscuit inadvertently ruined beach combing for me.
Everybody knows what crab or lobster pot floats look like. Balls, wedges or cones made out of styrofoam that are strategically placed to be right in the deepest part of the usable navigational channel by some closely bred ninny. In days gone bye the floats were balls of blown glass. In some parts of the Caribbean that is still the case. Nature often rips these floats free from their tethers and the glass balls start a trip of their own.
According to the admiral these glass balls are the Holy Grail of beach combing and I need to find one. Last year Bill on Puddlejumper found a few of these floats by combing the tall grass that borders the high end of the beaches. His success made him the defacto glass ball gathering expert in these parts and he shared his technique with Mike from Seabiscuit. Mike unknowingly compounded my problem by going out and finding a damn glass ball himself.
So now a year later I found myself thrashing through the tall grass at the edge of the beach while Christy and our friends walk the beach finding pretty shells, beach glass and beans. Being alone in the tall grass with no glass balls in sight does give me a lot of time to think. And I started thinking about the visors that fisherdudes wear. I dunno why, its just how I'm wired I guess.
You know the visors I'm talking about. The visors cover a completely untanned forehead and have a thatch of hair sticking straight up. Flip flops, board shorts, a long sleeve T-shirt, a visor and a Corona and you have the whole fisherdude uniform. Stop in at any waterfront pub along the eastern seaboard and you're guaranteed to run into a covey of these slaves to fishing fashion. If its late enough and the fisherdude is into his cups he'll be wearing the visor backwards because the fisherdude is OFF Duty. If you're in doubt sidle up close and listen to their speech patterns. The typical fisherdude sounds like Spicoli form Fast Times at Ridgemont High had a child with a Valley Girl. Its as if they've all gone to California and spent a semester at the Fisherdude Linguistics Academy. Stupid yet inquisitive. It doesn't matter if they're 40 years old, they still sound like an adolescent struggling with tenth grade English.
I understand the visor is useful in protecting your eyes from the glare of the sun. I can also understand that the wind across the top of your head is cooler than wearing a ball cap or tilley hat. But did they really all come to that conclusion or are they just all dressing the part, wearing the uniform. Nobody wants to be the odd fisherdude out.
I've met bald fisherdudes. The sun is beating down on their unprotected pate yet the visor is still the chapeau of choice. Heck, I've seen visors for sale that already have the hair sewn in.
What this all boils down to is that I've got to much time on my hands to think while combing the upper limits of the beaches. God forbid I find a glass ball, I'll never be allowed back down near the surfline....