Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3 Hours Off

The guests had all left for the day in large SUV's with packed lunches from my galley. I had a nap, fed the crew, and was driven to shore for some necessary reconnection with Mother Earth.

Our small tender pulled up to the tiny harbor of a tiny sea-side village in the middle of, who knows where, North Iceland. The fisherman were busy, at 10:30 pm, on the last of the days catch. I agreed with one fisherman to buy 25 pieces of the brilliant green and purple translucent scaled fish, still stiff with rigor mortis.

 A giant glacier sat atop the large mountain in the foregrounds, and a few colorful houses splashed the seaside landscape. 1 road. 1 restaurant. 1 gas station with only 2 gas pumps. It's 11 pm, the sun is still searching for a place to set. I go for a walk.

Wild cotton, purple volcanic rock, soft green moss, fresh water springs. A quiet moment to myself on top of a hill, gazing down at the rough ocean bellow. Gratitude.
 A brisk jog back towards the fishing dock, moving my legs in a way that is far from natural to me now.

After picking up my Mackerel from the boat dock, the fisherman offering his gift and declining my Krona payment, and heading back to the boat. 12:30 pm now and the guests are heading to bed. Squatting on the back deck of the boat, Jess and I cleaned and filleted 25 fish in the middle of the night. We threw the heads and spines back into the sea of which they came from. Our work space lit just by the hint of remaining sunlight and the lower boat lights which shine into the blue water bellow us. Barefoot with our pants rolled up and knives working away, we chat about the endless possibilities of mackerel in our near future.... broiled with maple and soy atop udon noodles with avocado and cilantro. Smoked with french-style potato salad. Lets just keep a few whole to grill with lemon and olives.

I still can't remember how to spell or pronounce the name of that sweet sea-side town in north Iceland. But it was the best day off I've had in a very long time.