When I was a kid our family spent vacations on the coast of Maine, and there was not much I enjoyed more than puttering around on the water. We had a few rowboats including one Dad picked up with a huge hole in one side that he patched, and another very old wooden rowboat with a notch on the transom used for sculling. We’d spend hours rowing around our little cove. We knew to keep ourselves between the beach at one end and the rocky outcropping at the other. As we became more skilled and were older, we were allowed to row a bit further.
The thing about rowing is you’re not looking where you’re going, so every now and then I’d turn around to make sure I was still on track and wasn’t going to hit a rock, a boat, or a buoy. There were always buoys.
There were mostly lobster buoys, who bobbed with the waves and leaned with the current, but there were mooring buoys as well. As the tide went up and down, there could be anywhere from eight to about eleven feet difference from low to high tide, depending on the phase of the moon. And depts where we rowed ranged from mere inches to about seventy-five feet deep.
I don’t know enough about lobsters to know where they tend to live, but based on the density of lobster buoys, they like the shallows and down to somewhere between 50-75 ft. deep in the summer time. I’ve heard they head for deeper water in the winter, but when I was rowing and sailing around the coastline it was summer.
Once in a while I’d see the top of a buoy’s spindle peaking up out of the water, while the buoy itself was fully submerged. And once in a great while an entire buoy was underwater. Deep enough that if you were flying along in a speedboat you wouldn’t see it, but not so deep that you couldn’t see it if you were right on top of it. A danger to propellers, but not for oars.
I imagine the pot warp (rope) had gotten hung down on a ledge, or it wasn’t long enough to accommodate an unusually high tide or strong current. Yes, sometimes the current would rip along dragging a buoy underwater. A bit like stress has done to so very many this past year.
If I’m to be honest, and let’s face it, this is a place where I’m honest, my buoy was dragged under water almost four years ago when my soul decided it was time for me to undergo deep healing. Deeper than the cleaning a navigation buoy gets when it’s hauled and scraped of thick layers of shells and other marine life.
With the tide ebbing slightly allowing me a few more inches of rope, my spindle is above water most of the time. And once in a while, the top of my buoy peeks out of the water to see sun shining. But I’m still a ways from bobbing, righting myself easily with each passing wave.
I’m finding that several days out from scraping barnacles and muscle shells from the inside of my essence, instead of finding bright and shiny underneath, there’s still a bit of sanding and polishing needed. And I find the weather tends to turn a bit dreary while I wait for rain and thunderstorms to pass.
Fortunately, like the tides that ebb and flow, as the most recent deep cleaning settles a bit more and rainstorms begin to pass, the pot warp gains a little slack and my buoy begins to float a bit freer, able to rise and fall with the passing waves.