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The annealing waters…

Every so often, once a month or thereabouts, I strap my kayak atop my car and head to the Carolina coast and the ocean.

Ostensibly it’s to fish. There is a reason, though, why they sell the ocean’s bounty in grocery stores; that’s where I slink in, empty-handed after a fruitless (fish less?) day on the water, to buy my redfish.

Debris is an all-too-common sight in the backwaters and creeks of the inter coastal. I'd rather be catching fish but don't think twice to lift out flotsam with the business end of my paddle.

Debris is an all-too-common sight in the backwaters and creeks of the intracoastal waterway.  I’d rather be catching fish but don’t think twice to lift out flotsam with the business end of my paddle.

But there is something I do catch as I paddle along; plastic and polystyrene. That happened again this past weekend as I stalked fish in the intracoastal waterway adjacent to Charleston, South Carolina. Caught up in the reeds and muddy oyster beds and carried along by the tide are the predictable catch of soda bottles and snow white poly.

There’s plenty of storage on the Ocean Kayak (fish aren’t taking up any room) so I lash my sordid finds atop the aft deck and off I go again in search of fish. I’ve yet to bring a plastic bag with me since these trips are all about sport; I don’t think I’ll forget the next time.

If anything, it gives impetus to my daily walks 150 miles inland. Every piece of junk I collect is one less item that could wash down a storm drain and eventually end up bobbing up and down here. I’d rather not see junk floating about these otherwise annealing waters I find so soothing. I’m sure the fish would rather not see it, too.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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