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Photo: Looking Up!

(Illustration by: Brian Boutin)

A married couple from Eastern Canada, who must have been fighting on the plane trip to Campbell River on Vancouver Island, because when I picked them up at the airport they were not talking to each other or me. I was their fishing guide, ready to provide them a good ocean experience on Canada's west coast.

From the beginning, this was proving to be difficult as there was very little conversation and I could feel the tension. Even once we were on the boat, the wife spent most of her time looking out in opposite direction from her husband. To top it off, the fishing that particular afternoon was slow— just what I needed!

Finally, we had a bite! "Fish On"! It was a scrappy 12-14 pound Chinook salmon on his rod. Just when I thought things were looking up, the hooks pulled out right at the net and the fish was gone. Now they looked really down.

As I was rigging up a new bait, I was thinking to myself "how am I going to break the ice with these people, get them talking to each other and enjoying a good day out at sea?". After having lost his fish, the husband threw his hat to the bottom of the boat exposing his almost-bald head. There was a seagull circling overhead eyeing the bait I was rigging. And then, as if out of a slapstick comedy, this seagull decided to relieve himself directly in the center of my guest's bald head!!!

Immediately, his wife lost all control, laughing so hard she had tears in her eyes and rolling around in the boat. This was exactly the icebreaker we needed.

We went on to have three more days of good salmon fishing, good conversation, and plenty of laughs.

Sometimes the ocean and sealife can help heal and fix things in unexpected ways!

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Comment by illustrator:
The story has a great theme that I think most people can relate to. Nature has a way of soothing tempers, relaxing the mind, and reminding us that there is a great big world out there; and we don't always have to sweat the small stuff.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/projects/healthy-oceans/pacific-ocean-stories/looking-up/

By Steve Babcock, Tall Tale Charters

Campbell River, BC

People only defend the things they know about. Share these stories.

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1 Comment

Apr 02, 2013
4:20 PM

Wow, what a great story! And I love the illustration!

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