It was our first day back in almost six months and like all past trips to the farm, we planned to get an early start, when the ocean is calmest and glasslike, reflecting the world around it. Dana showed up at 6:30 and together we removed the tarp that had blanketed Dew Drop all winter. We hitched the trailer to Dana’s Hyundai and boat-in-tow we started the familiar route to Mere Point Boat Launch.
Given Sister Island is off the coast of Freeport, our commute involves a somewhat round-about way to get to there, but I cherish these car rides, in the early waking hours. Most days they are filled with hot coffee and new ideas or at the very least plenty of laughs, this morning in particular. On the way, Dana noticed something fly off the boat in the rear-view. Being the low-panic person she is, Dana whipped the car over to the shoulder with a “whoops!” followed by a “got it!” Watching her return with an empty gas tank in hand, I released a big breath I didn’t realize I had been holding in and cheered her on from the safety of the car.
We arrived at the launch sometime after seven. The dock was still out of the water and the parking lot was empty, but we were greeted by the sound of lapping water as we backed the boat down the ramp. If experience had taught us anything, starting the engine was not going to be easy, but we were determined. After a stubborn start from Dew Drop and a big “hurrah” from us, we were back on the water, bundled and smiling. We passed the single boat moored in the harbor and a pair of eiders, seemingly irritated by our presence. Not even halfway to the farm we spotted a yellow dot sitting on the horizon, our buoy! I released another deep breath. This one, I'd perhaps been holding in longer, maybe all winter. As we neared the farm, I grabbed the line and gave it a tug, comforted by the resistance I felt from our cage full of oysters below.
In a few weeks, we’ll head back out to lift our oysters—a day that will likely be filled with some nervous anticipation, but also the comfort of knowing that no matter what comes our way, we'll keep moving forward.