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No Rose Garden pounds of clothing, Sal gratefully scrambled up the ladder to the fresh air. The deck lights were bright as day. The wind was still out of the north at 15, the seas six to ten feet. The air temperature was 24 degrees. The Winter Fishing Grounds is so called because a combination of tricky ocean currents makes it a relatively warm place. Tonight it was snowing hard. Hundreds of white seabirds seemed to be suspended motionless on either side of the boat against the snowsplotched, velvety blackness of the night’s oriental screen. Sal carefully traversed the wet, rolling deck and took up his position at one of the two large winches in front of the pilot house. Vinnie was already behind the other

one, waiting. They threw off the brakes at the same time to start the five-foot winch drums. The drums rolled fast, considering the load they were retrieving: a large net full of fish with its metal f loats and bottom-rolling gear, held open in its trip along the ocean f loor by two large steel-reinforced wooden doors weighing 1,800 pounds apiece that were attached to the vessel by ž-inch wire cables. The cables strained around the big 14-inch turning blocks with the sound of corn popping, then went onto the winch, their coils crunching against each other as they competed for space on the drum. With a CLUNGGG that shook the whole boat, first one door, then the other were raised up on its davit and slammed against the hull. With perfect timing, Tony passed the safety chain around the davit as

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Profile for Tidewater Times

Tidewater Times December 2018  

Tidewater Times December 2018