John Gierach on Running Wild


"Chances are you’re raised in the country or in a small town surrounded by country: someplace where you can easily walk or ride your bike to the edge of what until recently had been the known world, and then on into the fields, woods and creeks beyond. Some of this is private land and you occasionally have to crawl through a barbed-wire fence to get on it, but the niceties of ownership are left to the adults to sort out. To a kid, it’s all just unpopulated and there to explore. The first time a farmer yells at you for trespassing, you honestly don’t know what he’s talking about.

You’re equipped for this wilderness with a hand-me-down folding knife and the Army-issue compass your father brought home from World War Two. The weight of these items in your pocket feels comfortingly substantial; although you understand only in a theoretical way that the compass is some sort of insurance against getting lost. You haven’t yet learned the hard lesson that it doesn’t matter where north is if you don’t know which direction you came from. In addition to the knife and compass, you have a cane fishing pole with a line stout enough to land a tarpon, as well as a slingshot that seems potentially lethal but maddeningly inaccurate. You also have a crude homemade spear that you keep hidden because you know Dad will ask what you plan to do with it and you won’t have an acceptable answer. Taken together, these items constitute the beginning of a lifelong fascination with the tools of sport. You experience the kind of freedom that will be unknown to future generations.

This is the 1950s, when kids are still allowed to run wild as long as they’re home by dark. It’s also a time when low-grade delinquency—like trespassing, truancy or the odd fistfight—comes under the heading of “boys will be boys.” You might get scolded or spanked, but you won’t have to undergo counseling. Like all children, you take your play as seriously as any young predator."

-John Gierach

All Fisherman Are Liars



Arrived safely to Los Angeles.  Extreme culture shock. There is a crazy machine that makes it so you don't have to do your laundry in a bucket.  

Can't believe I'm not on the ship. 3 months of coconut-related machete injuries, broken bones, suturing surgical and dental procedures and starting IV's in rolling seas, wild skin infections, medical evacuations, island clinics and house calls, and of course all of our seasick high risk pregnant ladies .

And fishing.

Incredibly grateful to the wonderful people of the islands who took us into their homes and made us part of their families.  

Picton Castle crew, make sure you finish your antibiotics because we're out.  And go have a drink.  I miss you immensely.