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  • Writer's pictureWojciech Salski

Fisherman Story

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

he sky was grey, pierced with holes through which water flowed down to Earth.

The sky was grey, pierced with holes through which water flowed down to Earth. The fisherman’s boat out on the horizon, defiant of the weather, rushed through the rough waves towards the horizon. It was another morning of a fisherman’s life.

I wrote down the paragraph and took my place on the side of the boat, joining the morning run.


The sea was angry at the man, who renounced its wish and took it to the horizon in pursuit of gain, needful of nourishment for his family, who stayed on the shore in the cosiness of home. I looked at him, as he maneuvered this little ship in the maze of streams. All was soaked in worlds’ tears. Wearing only my jumper, I shivered with cold as the morning breeze, empowered by the storm imposed its might upon our vehicle. The man was wearing his waterproof clothing, his boots heavy and tall, his hat warm with cotton filling. He stood tall behind the steer, gazing in the distance on the lookout for danger and opportunity. He knew the seas like no one else in town. His mornings, the most powerful times of the day for anyone who embarked on any endeavour of their life, were the time of hassle and harnessing Gods’ will, which tended to fortune those who wake up to their life with excitement and aspiration. Over the years of work, he encountered all the seas’ creatures, most of the situations and was both granted and robbed again and again of many chances in this daily pursuit of achievement. He respected the sea, as he respected the Higher Power. There was no doubt about it. His father, and his fathers’ father as those fathers before them, all shared the knowledge and experience of working with this vast element of the world. Taught by who he aspired to follow, he trained himself in ‘feeling’ the ocean as the years went by, gaining intuitive understanding of what the world was about to splash onto the side of his boat. He checked his coordinates and looked out to the sky above. The storm was going to last with its soaring powers raging above the frightening sea. I got up and joined him inside the cabin, as he picked up his cup of coffee, which fixed on the side of the panel, swayed with the boat from side to side, asked to keep his fuel warm and safe, from the roughness of the surroundings. He drank the same coffee every morning, the same breakfast packed away for later in his bag. His wife prepared both. Every day, every week for every year of their long life together. She knew it helps him out here, in the ocean and cared for its preparation promptly and humbly throughout the days. He drank the essence feeling for a moment, as if he were back in the house, sitting on the armchair by the fire. His sensation of stability and strength filled his heart with empowerment and inspiration for the work. It does not take much to feel like home I thought, writing down my idea on the soaked cloth that my notebook resembled.


I observed his actions, as he turned the key and pulled the boat to the stop. Waves struck the sides with power offering motivation to continue rather than stay in one place, but the man knew better. He marched outside, holding onto ropes and parts of the ship and pulled the lever of the anchor, which with a loud splash pierced the surface of the sea and fixed the keelboat to its days’ workspace. The man got back into the cabin, took a quick last sip of the coffee in a manner that suggested the act to be a part of the daily routine, and leaving the cabin closed marched towards the stern. Pushing the big, tangled net, which hung from the metal crane, he let it sway on the wind outside the boat, above the raging water. The net reminded me of a drop of oil, which when splashed into the sea offered a thick layer of separateness and menace. He pulled a second lever and the net dived in, similarly to the anchor, leaving the boat with only one line of attachment to its master. The man looked out into the waves, where the knotted ropes landed and pondered for a moment. I looked at him, trying to understand his motive, as he stood there soaking in the storms’ presence. His face, bruised with worries and struggles of life resembled the surface of the ocean, giving a glimpse into the nature of their relationship. He knew these waters and these waters knew him and many others like him, who day by day offered their life’s comfort in exchange for earnings and experience. I wrote down what I was seeing as the man walked back to the cabin, took out the coffee from the holder and stuffed it into the backpack, leaving it underneath the panel, where it belonged. He sat on the stall, leaning on the doorframe and scratched his hairy chin presenting a wide yawn. He looked at the clock seven-thirty he thought right on time and pulled his cap onto the forehead. He closed his eyes gently, taking a controversially comfortable position for his morning nap. His work done, for now, his boat fixed in position, the net ready for the hunt, he took the nap for some time, as the morning unfolded. The storm raged outside, swaying the ship from side to side, the waves crashing onto the deck, as he slept in this half-deep sleep, letting himself be at home once more, before he continues with further efforts to bring himself, the fish and his motor safe to the shore. I wondered how long it takes to fish the amount he needs to consider the day worth and done with, but deciding to let him rest, I walked out of the cabin.


The wind howled between the surfaces, echoing with waves of lightnings and clanks of machinery. The whinnying of the rusty crane offered a sinister undertone to this cacophony of sounds, leaving my skin with goosebumps, as I reached the stern and looked down where the metal rope met the machinery with the net. Water boiled below, heaving with strength and streams of different currents pushing and pulling from underneath. What luck to have a job, which happening is certain and working, no matter the circumstances I thought of the fisherman’s work, as I lowered myself into the water and allowed my mind to travel back home, as my body, the vessel needed for this morning adventure seized to exist, swallowed by the raging sea.


I finished the paragraph and laid a soft gaze upon my works, that this morning effort has created. I thought of the satisfaction and achievement that accompanies the work of that fisherman and considered myself to be as lucky as him. There is no such thing, as bad circumstances to write after all I concluded, letting the day unfold the way it needs, with my heart filled with the power of the morning craft.

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