Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dory's Day at Sea!!

I know, I know - I've talked all about Emily's passing, Dory's adoption and my occasional free form rant about life - now Dory takes main stage.

Yesterday was Dory's first day aboard the Kanaloa for a day of fishing. For those of you don't know, the Kanaloa is our 25 foot Parker fishing boat moored in Salem, MA.

Anyhow - after the boat being off the water for 3+ weeks Chris and I decided to go fishing and take Dory along. Needless to say I was a little nervous. It's one thing to ride in a truck for two days, meet a new family, get used to a new schedule and become accustom to urban life - but riding on a continuously moving machine on the water is a whole NEW thing.

We started out the day slowly, getting up to the boat around 10 am. Dory was excited from the get go, packing the car, making a couple of stops picking up bait, gas and ice.

When we arrived at Winter Island park where we keep the boat Chris unloaded our supplies and Dory and I headed over to the rocky, lighthouse side beach front. This is usually not too populated and great entry way for dogs as it is a gentle slope into the water.

Dory seemed cautious at first so I steamed ahead into the water - it was very warm by New England standards. Dory on leash crept in as a cheerily called her name and gently sprinkled her with water. Let's just say she needs to work on her style and form, but she was definitely swimming. There were a few women enjoying the shore and watching our antics. The marveled at Dory's bravery and all gave her a congratulatory pat. They asked about her and I told them she was was rescue dog, and said what a great experience it had been working with the Lab Group.

For a Southern girl she did just fine. Our next challenge was going down to the floating docks.

Winter Island has an aluminum drop down ramp to the docks and even for the sure footed it can be a challenge when wet, rough seas or low tide. Dory was a champ and scooted right down. Once on the dock I saw a familiar face - a boat called "Makin' Waves" and their large Old English Mastiff. He is very cute and always out with his people. Dory said "hi" and then sat down with me to wait for Chris to bring the boat around.

While we were waiting a couple of women with a gaggle of young girls came by - they all wanted to pet Dory and she willingly obliged. The youngest looked to be about five and kept waving to Dory saying "good by Dory, good bye" as the boat she boarded pulled away.

Amazingly Dory was not afraid of crafts pulling up to the dock and actually board the boat as Chris stepped off to tie the dock lines. I guess she figured if it was good enough for him - it was safe for her.

Anxious at first, but she settled right in. We checked our lobster pots (traps for you non-NewEnglanders) and then headed over to children's Island Rock - right off of Children's Island in Salem Sound. Dory loved peering over the rail and enjoyed watching all the seagulls dive and swoop. The bait was a mystery to her - she kept sniffing it but fortunately did not try to eat it! Herring makes great Striper bait but smells and is very oily.

She marveled as Chris and I cast out over and over again and was very interested in our catches as we brought the keepers on board - three in all on the day out of a total ten caught (Liza 3, Chris 7).

As we rapped up our big adventure we took the boat over to the docks off Beverly Harbor. There is a quiet corner that is great for boat washing and as we made our way down the channel and through the harbor it was great to see people point, smile and wave at Dory as we chugged through the water. For some reason people love to see dogs on the water and what is cuter than a Lab in a neon life vest peering over the gunwall of a boat!

All in all the day was a success. Dory seemed to like the boat and we can be confident next time we go out in the boat.

On the Menu at Casa Liza tonight - Atlantic Striped Bass and rice with asparagus unless you are wearing a fur coat - then you are having Lamb & Rice kibble.

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