Net’s in the water when Nicky spotted what he thought was a whale, it was a dolphin. In fact it was several in a pod. They were chasing fish and guess what, I decided to bring our nets in at twelve and they were full. They had scattered the fish which filled our nets.
“Dad did you see that?”
“It was the mermaids, they drove the fish into our nets. Look there is another one.” All you could see was the tail as it went under the water. Glen and I laughed. The boys believed it and that’s all that matters.
By the six pm pull of the nets, the holding tanks were almost full. The shrimp tank was full and the lobster tank had quite few large lobsters in it, Peter was checking for another Gus, I was hoping he won’t find one.
“I think we’ll pull the nets at four in the morning, if all goes well, we’ll be having breakfast on the way home.”
“Dad, we’ll need to put the shrimp some place, that hold is full.”
“Use the crab pails. That should hold a few.”
I always enjoyed sitting around chatting with the boys after dinner, but this week-end I enjoyed chatting with the adults. I never realized it but there is a difference, although I’d not give up chatting with the boys. Bob asked if there was a phone he could use. I told Nicky to take him to the bridge and he could phone from there.
“Hello, Grace… yes I’m using some sort of radio phone, I don’t understand it but it works. How are you?…Yes, I think you should push that through. Get a hold of Stewart and have him get to Judge Bronson. I would like to have that for him at his wedding… There was some I’ll tell you about it tomorrow….yes, Kevin thinks we’ll be heading back early…. the fishing has been good…Ok, see you then. Thanks love, yes I love you too.
Returning to the galley, “That phone worked pretty well.”
“Yes, it works over radio frequencies.”
“Well, boys let’s hit the sack, tomorrow comes early. Nicky set the horn at normal.”
Taking Glen’s hand we went to our room. No surprise there, Adam and Peter were ready to climb in our bed. I looked at Glen he was smiling. “Makes honeymoon more special, alone in bed.”
The horn did go off at four am and it was loud. Our kids knew what to expect, the kids from the orphanage didn’t. Adam stated to cry, Peter told him that was the wake up call. Glen picked him up, holding him close, “It’s okay. That’s the clock telling us it’s time to get up. If you want to sleep some more, crawl back in bed. Peter will cuddle with you.”
He looked at Peter, who put his arms out, Glen sat Adam down and Peter pulled him into a cuddle, they both went back to sleep.
“I really screwed up, I never gave it a second thought about the horn and Adam. Peter was with us the first time it went off for him.”
“He’ll be okay.”
“Yes, but I should have seen that, at his age he would be scared.”
“Let’s get some coffee.”
The boys were up and started to pull the nets. I was right, we filled the holds and still had some in the nets. “Check the chests, fill them. We’ll clean any that can’t fit and I’ll put them in the freezer and refrigerator. Forget it Nicky, we aren’t going back with the nets in the water.”
“I’m going to check on Charles.”
“Wait I’ll go with you. I need to get the empty crab pails, we’ll need them.” I sat the pails down beside Charles. “How are you doing?”
“The shrimp hold is full, I have enough to fill these pails as well. The lobster hold is full, we are okay there. It was the shrimp hold I was concerned about.”
“Okay were heading home. As soon as you fill these pails, bring them to the bow and then we’ll have breakfast. We should be back at the dock in four to five hours.”
I gave him a squeeze of his shoulders as I left, I looked back and Glen gave him a hug. I looked at what the boys left in the sink. They not only cleaned the fish but they fillet it as well. I looked at Scott, “It wasn’t me, Granddad showed them how to do it. I think they did a good job.”
“I forgot you use to work in a butcher shop.”
“Yes, I haven’t forgotten everything. When I was in high school my uncle had a butcher shop. I went to work for him and he taught me how to cut meat and fish. The boys are a fast learner. I think they did a good job.”
We gave them a hug as we wrapped thefish in paper and placed them in the freezer.Scott and his three henchmen had breakfast well on its way. The boys had their hot chocolate, dads had their coffee and I had an imp on my lap.
“I was scared this morning Pappy.”
“I know I’m sorry. I should have told you.” I looked at Glen and mouthed ‘pappy’He smiled, pointing to himself and mouthed the word ‘daddy’
I gave Adam a hug and made room for another little boy, only he wasn't so little anymore. I looked at him and then my free knee. He smiled, got up and climb aboard. Glen brought his hot chocolate to him. I wasn’t drinking my coffee but it didn’t matter, I had two boys on my lap.
Dad looked over at me, “You seem content.”
“I am, a boat full of fish, full of good friends, my boys and my soul mate, what more can a man ask for.” Then the magic words. ‘Breakfast is ready’.
I went and relieved Nicky but Jamie was there. “Okay Jamie, bring her in.”
“Nicky is here, you’re here, who is steering the boat?”
“Who isn’t here?”
He looked around, then he looked at me. “Right, he’s taking the boat back.”
“His mother will never believe that.”
“As the boys get older, they will all know how to take her out and bring her back. The older boys can read the charts now. Nicky has helped them plot courses so they know how to do it. They aren’t just pretty faces, you know.”That brought a laugh.
One hour out Jamie blew the horn three times. “If you want to watch the docking, go to the stern.”
Then I heard, “Charles, lower anchor, Andy, stern line, Johnny, bow line.” Then you heard, anchor aweigh, stern lines on, bow lines on. A slight movement of the boat, motors cut off and a smiling Jamie came down from the bridge.
“Your mother is never going to believe this.” He just smiled.
The cannery people came, the two men from last week were the first on the boat with the tins, as well to help unload the holds. Nicky and Charles went to check weights, Uncle opened his fish shop. Peter, Tommy and Adam, went crabbing. I sent Andy to get pans from Mary, Travis went with him.
With the fish all unloaded, Charles got shrimp and lobster for the guys who helped. Actually they did all of the work, my boys helped a little. It's amazing what a few shrimp and lobster can do.
The boys started to carry the chests off of the boat. Andy arrived with a large pan, we filled it with shrimp, Travis brought a second pan, we filled it with lobster. I still had some shrimp and lobster left over and I knew who I’d give those to.
Everything off loaded included the fish fillets in the freezer, we headed home.The dads where going to go home without a shower. “No, you all stink of fish. You can get cleaned up at my place and then your wives will let you in.” That is what they did.
With the extra showers, it didn’t take the boys long to get cleaned and dressed in their sweats and t-shirts. Glen and I loaned a pair of sweats, t-shirts and flip flops to the dads. John’s was a little tight but decent.
“We have fish to deliver, so you can join us or we’ll see you when we deliver your fish.” They decided they would go home. Now we really had a car and truck full. Three in the front seat, driver included, the rest in the back.
First stop, Grams. Peter ran as usual, “Gram, we have fish.” Her neighbor heard and came out with her pan as well.
“Mrs. Logan, we have some fish filets as well, would you prefer those to a whole fish.”
“Yes, thank you Kevin.”
I looked at Gram, she nodded yes as well. Mrs. Logan took her fish filets and left. I tookGram’s pan, added the extra filets, some shrimp and two lobsters. She smiled and gave Peter and Charles a kiss. I looked at Charles, he was smiling. Then I saw why, Marie was standing behind him. Her dad came with them this time.
“I heard you had a dad’s week-end,”
“Yes, I’m sorry I didn’t think you would be interested in fishing. The boys who worked the boat asked if their dads could come. If you are interested, the next time we go out, you can join us.”
“Well, I’m not a fisherman so I’ll pass this time but I’ll hold the invitation for the future.”
I let Charles handle their fish, he had to cut off the heads. Besides the fish he added some shrimp and two lobsters. He got his kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back from Marie’s dad.
Glen beeped the horn, Peter and Charles came running and we were off to stop number two, Glen’s home. Only this time Dad knew about the extra kids. He had gone home after showering, had the barbecue out and was cooking hamburgers when we arrived. True to a showman, we lined up in sizes and marched into the back yard.