The Gilean Todd was moored over at the landing, said to have rockfish, halibut, and cod. Spattering rain, gale warning in effect. But the tide had just turned so I put on my all-purpose bike gear, hauled out the blue kayak (like a split milk-jug), and set out for the wharf. With one boot full of seawater and the wind at my back.
I pulled up alongside and shouted up to the boat: Heyâ€”you got fish?! Yup. Halibut. But only whole fish, said Silas, hoisting a glossy 14-pounder. Both eyes on one side, shiny as live. Just yesterday swimming off Comox.
I paddled round the wharf and dragged the kayak up the beach. Gary showed up and we worked out a deal. Silas filleted the fish artfully with his huge knife, and Gary took the bulk of itâ€”meat in one bag, carcass in another (for the garden). I climbed back into my vessel and headed back across the lagoon, hard into the gale with my haul: three pounds, plus a cheek.
Supped on halibut in a crust of almonds and herbs, with a light sauce of yogurt and dill. I did it, and of course, it had to be done. Just for the…well, you know. Just for the fish.