Thursday, June 26, 2008

Flashback to Father's Day

A little Father's Day story for you (after all). On FD Sunday, we went to Laconia to visit my Mom and Dad. Had some delicious brunch, traded some gifts, and set out for fishing on Lake Winnisquam. But we were too lazy to fish (which is really lazy) so we took a boat ride under cloudy skies instead. Fine with me - a boat ride is the right choice for almost any day.
Our one big adventure was that while idling down to coast under the Route 3 bridge, we saw a fisherman. We really stopped to visit the loon. Dad has an unbridled love of the dear creatures. We were about to exchange the usual, "Didja catch anything" banter with the fisherman when we saw him hook something. He pulled up hard on the line, and nothing appeared. "Log," we thought. Then he joked, "I caught me a loon." Then there was silence. It wasn't a joke. My heart caught in my throat.
But a hook had caught in the loon's.
Luckily, Loon Ranger leapt to the rescue. Really, there was little we could do. We struggled to get near the loon while the fisherman gently reeled in, trying to lure the loon close enough so we could free him. We knew in our hearts all this was in vain. No loon would let us get that close, even if hurt and in danger. I kept thinking, "Cut the line!" But apparently, that is no good, as the loon could strangle himself with too much slack line dangling behind him as he dives and feeds.
Finally, despite our clumsy efforts, the loon broke the line. Hook remained in place, and we were never sure if it was in his throat or his beak. He swam a length away and began to shake his head back and forth, trying to free himself from that wretched hook. He was ruffled.
But not as ruffled as this guy. ;)
Here's Mom on my trusty never-leave-my-side cell phone (yes, boaters, take your damn phones with you - it doesn't mean you have to take calls!). She called 911 and then Fish & Game. The Loon Preservation Society was closed and F&G had no one available to send. Not good. The Loon Ranger is in the background there, maneuvering the boat with compassion for his little buddy.
We finally had to move on. Dad was concerned the loon had not dove in a long time. Then suddenly he slipped into the water and resurfaced several yards away. Supposedly that was a good sign. We worried about him but there was nothing left to be done. We gave very specific location instructions to F&G in case they found someone who could help. [Sometime I'll have to tell you Dad's whole Loon Lore....]
At the end of our journey, we have Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to bid you farewell, after they skillfully shifted the boat onto its lift and loaded 'er up.
Alright, enough of that. And thus was Father's Day.

A week later, I saw the loon in the same cove by the bridge, swimming at ease. I took this as a very good omen.



Marie said...

Sounds a lovely father's day except for the loon incident. That would have really upset me as well. It doesn't even bear thinking about!

Anonymous said...

Poor little critter. You all were a compassionate crowd.