Greetings loyal TVAngler reader!
As most of you already know, I recently decided to ditch the Huntsville/New Market, AL, area for sunny Florida. It’s been a long, slow, arduous process so far – the tale of which, filled with excitement, romance, despair, anxiety, bureaucracy and copious amounts of rum would fill pages upon pages.
But I digress – THIS post isn’t about the journey. It’s about the signs…
As I started the process of moving down to Florida, things just seemed to line up perfectly. For those of us with Faith, this seemed like the will of the Almighty. For those agnostic type people, it was a long string of beneficial circumstances and situations that happened to occur just right, at just the right time.
Anywho, this soon turned to anxiety as I’m now waiting on TWO separate job offers. I know I’ll get one or both sometime, but until I do we’re in a holding pattern. And so, obviously, I began to doubt the Almighty’s will, questioning whether I’d made the right move or not. I was still wavering back and forth on the 4th of July, when my Brother-in-law suggested we go to Sebastian Inlet – a Florida state park he was fond of and that was close by.
Sebastian Inlet is just south of Melbourne and boasts a variety of accompaniments – a beautiful beach, boardwalk and store, surfing, boating and, yes, fishing. A large bridge hacks the park in half with the ocean pouring in to or out of the inlet, depending on tide. Matter of fact, when the tide’s really cookin, the water flow looks like a formidable white water rafting river. The inlet side, to the right of the bridge, has a great little lagoon area, with a nice sloping white-sand beach for families to relax and play in. The ocean side, one the left, sports some fantastic waves for surfers and more energetic beach goers.
As an aside, whether you’re wandering the beach or relaxing in the lagoon, the scenery is beautiful. Thank God for bikinis.
On either side of the channel connecting the ocean and the lagoon area are two large rock jetties, stretching a pretty good piece out into the blue waters of the Atlantic. To the left side of the channel, right beside the surf/beach area is a massive fishing pier, consistently lined with anglers plying the depths for whatever’s running that day.
We set up on the beach side, about 50-70 yards down the shoreline from the beginnings of the rock jetties. Surfers were battling body-boarders and other swimmers for good waves as set after set rolled in, with a few terse exchanges when the two (or three) clans intersected. So, to make things easier for everyone, we dove in right in the middle and joined the fray, chasing most of the surfers off further down the beach to a less populated swell area.
After a few hours of fun, swimming, body boarding and kayaking (manatee and small sea turtles were in view most of the day from the yak), I began leaning more and more to the ‘stay here’ side of the argument, thinking ‘The beach is free – what do I need with a job?’
Then, after a cold beverage and a few minutes under the shady umbrella we’d set up earlier, I thought more about my precarious situation and asked, one more time, “Lord, is this really what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I really supposed to be here?”
Sometimes when I ask God for guidance I get nothing. No tingly feelings, no ‘word,’ no signs, no nothing. In fact, lots of times I get the feeling He just gets tired of my constant nagging and shuts me off for a while. But then, every once in a while, He answers in a big way.
When I first heard the yelling down by the rock jetty to my left, I had no idea whether it was a man or a woman. It wasn’t the panicked cry of someone drowning or in pain or anything, but it certainly seemed urgent. Looking up to my right, I saw a young man scrambling down from the fishing pier, crawling over the rocks with a deft precision usually reserved for spider man. His screams – of agony, despair, longing and urgent HELP ME-ness – led my eys out to the water, about 50 yards from his perch. There, I saw his nice rod and reel floating in the surf. Quickly, though, I came to realize that couldn’t possibly be true. It wasn’t floating is. It was being towed through the water..
By the time I caught up to it another beachgoer had grabbed the rod and handed it to spider boy, who’d made it down to the beach himself. We followed him and his catch as they battled down the beach, hollering at the surfers I’d chased off earlier and at other swimmers to watch out – since we had no idea what was on the other end of the line. After a 20 minute battle, assisted by the surf and with the cooperation and assistance of hundreds of swimmers, he landed his catch – a 30 to 35 lb snook.
I know what you’re asking. A snook? What the ___ is a snook? Picture a 30 lb bass. Now change its color to silver and give it a big black line running down the side. VOILA! A snook.
We celebrated with spider boy as he smiled wildly for all the admirers on the beach. Children were running up to touch the giant fish, and older guys began reminiscing to anyone who would listen about how they had caught one just a little bigger earlier last week. Bikini clad girls watched from afar, with a little gleam of appreciation and admiration in their eyes (or whatever it was – this is a family site, after all). We helped him get the fish back in the water and, after a few moments to let it catch its bearings, watched together as it swam slowly off into the deep.
An answer, or just good timing? A coincidence of fortune for a guy who absolutely loves fishing, just at the moment he needed it? I’ll leave it to you to decide that. For me, though, there was no doubt. I mean, how often does spider man battle a 30 lb bass through a sea of angry surfers and bikini wearing hotties immediately following a heartfelt cry for a reason to stay? About as often as I need an answer, I suppose…
PS Immediately following this trip, I was hired by Lockheed Martin out at Kennedy Space Center. We close on our house in early August and have everything smoothed out. Almost like it was meant to be…