Pirates and salmon

Arrr! Avast, matey! Pump yer bilge, weigh yer anchor, and batten down yer hatches. Sept. 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

It be a day of swagger and silliness, a day when instead of sayin’, “I think I’ll see what there is to eat in the fridge,” ye say, “Arrr! I be pillagin’ the galley fer some booty!”

If ye can talk in a blustery growl and say “arrr” a lot, ye already can talk like a pirate. If ye want to get more serious-like, tack yer way over to talklikeapirate.com, and ye can dig in the motherlode of piratey sayin’s.

On Talk Like a Pirate Day, if ye be, say, payin’ a visit to piratey pals, instead of sayin’ “Hello” at their front door, ye might shout, “Ahoy, me buckos, and prepare to be boarded! Arrr!”

When answerin’ the phone, instead of “Hello,” ye might growl, “Avast, ye scurvy bilge rat! Arrr!” and hope it be a friend callin’ who knows you be a bit “off.”

This be a day when ye can go a bit overboard singin’ sea chanteys, such as, “Ye never count yer booty, when yer sittin’ at the table; Thar’ll be time enough fer countin’, when the cheatin’s done.”

Another thing, it be proper to tell piratey jokes on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Why wouldn’t the pirate say, “Aye, Aye, Cap’n”? The Cap’n had only one eye.

Why couldn’t the pirate catch fish? He had a bad hook.

On the subject of not catching fish, my wife and I have been fishing for silvers from a neighbor’s dock on the Kenai River in Sterling. On Wednesday morning of this week, we were there, patiently waiting for a bite. Our patience was being sorely tried. Other than a few spawning humpies, neither of us had caught a salmon all year.

We were sitting there, watching our rod tips for any sign that a silver might be curious about our bait, but nothing was happening. After an hour or so of that,

Sue said, “Fishing is like Internet dating.”

We had met on an Internet dating website, so I was interested in where this analogy would lead.

“You put your bait out there, and wait,” she said. “If nothing happens, you say, ‘Hey, my bait may not be perfect, but it’s not bad.’ You have to be patient. You spruce up your bait a little, and put it out there again. You get nibbles. When you finally hook one, it might not be what you want, so you throw it back and keep fishing. If you keep fishing long enough, you catch what you’re looking for.”

We had “fished” the Internet for a couple of years before finding each other. I’m not sure who caught whom. What first attracted me was a photo of her holding a fish.

Back to Wednesday morning, Sue and I finally went home, skunked again. After lunch, she was busy doing something, so I went back to the river alone, first looking for that first salmon of the year.

We’d tried plugs and bait, so I decided to try an old friend, the Size 5 Vibrax spinner. The river was high and murky, but I figured the fish could see it well enough. Sure enough, after a few casts, something grabbed it. I pulled. Whatever it was pulled back. “Another humpy,” I thought.

But I was wrong. The fish turned out to be a bright, 14-pound silver, just what I’d been looking for.

Les Palmer can be reached at les.palmer@rocketmail.com.

More in Life

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

File
Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

File
Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show

Traditional ingredients like kimchi, ramen and tofu are mixed with American comfort food Spam in this hearty Korean stew. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Warm up with army base stew

American soldiers introduced local cooks to some American staple ingredients of the time: Spam and hotdogs.

File
Peninsula Crime: Bad men … and dumb ones — Part 2

Here, in Part Two and gleaned from local newspapers, are a few examples of the dim and the dumb.

File
Minister’s Message: What if Christ had not been born?

It is now time to look at the work and life of Jesus Christ.