Finding words and stories, for what’s important
By John Pappalardo
If you’re reading these words, then you’ve found your way to the kick-off edition of a new monthly e-magazine published here at the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, dedicated to sharing everything and anything we find interesting about our fishing community. People and history, issues and events, science and policy, funny stories and great recipes, tales told by words written and spoken, via photos and video — it’s all open season and it’s all on the plate.
We’re taking it on because we believe in this community of ours. We believe that the more people understand who we are, what we care about, how we fish but also how we think about the oceans around us, the better we will be. We don’t mean “better” in a narrow sense, that we alone will benefit. We mean “better” in the broadest, highest way, for all of us who live on or near the water – regardless of our livelihoods – who understand (even if it’s down deep, not something expressed every day) that who we are, from the very beginning, has been defined by how we relate to the sea.
That ambitious enough?
This first edition, which replaces our e-newsletter, begins to put form to those big ideas swirling around our small boats. The mix of stories and info ranges from sunrise on a lobsterman’s deck to how the famous Eldridge tide chart came to be, from a rallying cry to protect ocean and river herring to hands-on science to understand whether halibut are making a comeback, from upcoming events around the peninsula to interesting fishy comment from sources around the region. And then some.
Each story stands alone. Each links to the others in ways obvious and subtle, which makes the issues fun to brainstorm and produce — hopefully fun to experience, too.
My role, as we roll along, will be to take a big step back and try to offer some insight into what matters most, what this patchwork we stitch together every month really intends to cover. I think the exercise will likely help me more than you, because it’ll require me to create the time, space and reason to think bigger, connect the dots, and find words for what’s important beyond the immediate.
So that’s why we came to the title for this regular little coda, “Over the Bar.” It works in a handful of ways:
Over the bar, as in being good enough to elevate, to be valuable and worth your time.
Over the bar, as in ready to share thoughts and perspectives at a local watering hole should the occasion arise.
But most of all over the bar, as in recognizing where most of the real work gets done on the water, and how that dangerous commute should never be taken for granted.
And now I look forward to your comments and feedback as we launch this new vessel. Here’s hoping you like her lines.