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bro day

Thursday nights at the shore are out of control if one attends the phenomenon called “Shot Wheel.” Last week, I partook in the madness and was awoken the next morning with a snort and a startle. Miraculously I had made the 100 yard walk home safely, I was in my own bed, and I had all my clothes on. CHeck, check, and check plus.

A sizeable headache, but nothing that a vitamin water and a little salt water cant cure. The greatest hangover cure in the known world is the ocean. The salty swell of waves, the sound of the curlers crashing, and some floating in the sweet sunshine is enough to bring even the lowliest of zombies back to life. I tried to catch some Beater waves (A Beater is a mix between a boogie board and surf board allowing you to surf in the boogie board area, ingenious) unsucessfully. Its hard to stand up on a foam board that is only 4 feet long, but Im getting closer with every day. Drop the Beater off and on to what I excel at, body surfing. A couple hard strokes, get your mind out of the gutter, a perfect plane to surf on, and I am off through the tiny barrels. Its one of my favorite things about the ocean here. You always can grab a little shore break wave and ride it in.

Next came team waves where Bub, Chris and I caught the curl along with up to ten other wave riders. It was funny to see and participate in a row of late 20s men paddling into waves that crush you on the sand. Bodies washing up all over the place, a little bit of sand burn, and a shit ton of laughing. Chris was even lucky enough to receive the comment, “you young men are crazy!” from an older women in a floral swimsuit reminiscent of 60s wallpaper. I think she might have had one of those green see-through poker visor too. You know, the one that has the spiral elastic coil in the back and shades the wearer’s face in a hulk-like green glow. Yeah you know what I mean.

We must have been out in the waves for at least two hours before we even thought about time. It was like we were all kids again and time didnt matter. It was pretty funny. Also funny was the fact that non of us really remembered how the night ended. Comparing stories in the morning is an interesting part of the day and always yields a good story. Last thing I could recollect was a Jameson shot (burns) chased with a pineapple bomber (horrible) chased with a grape ape (purple koolaid yum). Then I woke up with the obligatory snort and frightened pause. Ha.

From the waves to the butcher for some porterhouses, ribeyes, corn, and crab legs. Then on to Manoloking where Chris’s parents have a house and it was finally time to let the manliest day I have had in recent memory begin. We didnt know that this day would become “bro-day”, but after the next few hours, we were all in agreement.

We hung around on the docks for a while and decided to throw in some crab lines to see if we could pull anything up. The first couple crabs were small but in no time we were lifting up sheer behemoths that even wowed me, a true Maryland boy who has seen and eaten hundreds of crabs. We joked and laughed about some new TV show ideas that we had involving crabs and jersey boys all while flopping some crabs on the deck. The biggest one almost got away, but luckily we as men didnt let him escape our clutches. It didnt actually go like that. Chris pulled him up, I was responsible for netting and Bub was sitting in between us. He was almost too big for the net and easily got out onto the deck right behind Bub. We all screamed (shrill screams of 12 year old girls would best describe it) then scrambled to pin him before he jumped back into the water. We finally got him into the buckle and dies from laughter saying that if that whole sequence had been caught on video, YouTube may have crashed from all the hits we wouldve provided.

We gathered all our seafaring equipment and went finally moved into dinner mode. We steamed the crabs (not so easily accomplished with the wind howling), grilled the steaks and corn up, then sat back and enjoyed a feast. A couple beers with this bevy of food all while watching the day turn to night. We ate until we were full and then ate some more, shucked corn into the bay along with scraps of the crabs, and then grilled up the “chitlins” ( the fatty parts of our steaks) on the grill until they were crisp. I usually scoff at such a thing since I hate the fatty portions of the steak, but done up like this was pretty amazing.

Its something to be said for catching your own food out of the ocean and having it for dinner not an hour later. It reminded me of many Mexico trips, our scuba adventures in San Carlos, and Survival School in the dead of a Washington state winter. I can now lump in this day of some Jersey boys catching their food with all those other manly days. Im looking forward to a fishing trip before the summer slips away and putting another one of these type days in the memory bank.

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