Monday, July 18, 2011

River or Ocean?

By Bobbi

Which body of water do you prefer, river or ocean? We have plenty of access to both in our fair state and each has its own bad and good points.

Rivers can smell a bit “fishier”. The waves there are choppy, especially when a fast boat passes by causing more due to the vessel’s wake. The water in ours tends to look dirty up close, though is a pretty blue when you look out over the surface. We occasionally see green tiger streaks floating in it from algae bloom which is due to the run-off from fertilized lawns. Signs that caution boaters to slow down in manatee zones are common and family members have actually seen one or two of those sea cows in person.

The ocean gives off a slight scent of sea life and salt. Its waves are long, rolling, sometimes slow- moving, but always powerful. Even on calm days, you can get knocked off your feet if you’re not paying close attention. The water looks clean and the surface color is some shade of blue, green or a combination of both. There are countless sea creatures living there; one of my favorites is the dolphin. My daughter and I were wading waist high in the ocean one afternoon when a pod of them went swimming past us, slipping in and out of the water. Now that was exciting!

You can fish in both the river and ocean, of course. We see people all of the time standing on bridges and piers with fishing poles. Some take part in what is referred to as surf fishing where the person actually wades a short ways into the ocean then casts his line from there. Others prefer to pay a fee to ride on a chartered boat that takes them miles from land out on the ocean. They drop anchor, fish a spot for awhile then choose another site. This is referred to as deep-sea fishing and I would caution anyone who wants to try it that they need to have a strong stomach to be able to handle it, especially on windy days. It’s called being seasick due to the rocking motion of the boat. Also, you’re out there all day with no way of getting back to shore until the fishing is done.

I have ridden in boats on both bodies of water. A friend gave me a ride in her pleasure boat on the river one time and that was enjoyable. You just have to remember to wear a life vest or the marine patrol can stop you and give you a ticket. My husband and I have also been on an ocean cruise which was very pleasurable. You learn to develop “sea legs” which means you have to catch your balance to keep from stumbling or falling over because the ship rocks slightly.

Breezes from both the river and ocean are very refreshing, though the salt air can feel a bit sticky.

All in all, I have to say the ocean is my favorite. Just don’t let that ship get too far away from shore.

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