Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Grunion Run


On June 6th my friends Arianna, Brandon, and Eric and I decided to go to the grunion run. For those of you who don’t know what a grunion run is, it’s when the grunion fish swim out onto the beach at midnight with the waves of high tide and mate. I know what you are thinking, why in goodness name we would we want to go and see that? Well when this is happening (something that only happens about twice a month) people go down to the beach and try to catch them with their bare hands.

Honestly, I don’t know when this odd activity began but I do know that my mom did it with her friends when she was my age and some towns even take sport in it. But I can tell you why this sport has continued after all these years: it’s fun. Something about chasing after fish at the dead of night with only the moonlight for guidance is riveting. The way that same moonlight reflects off the fish’s scales, making each look like patronesses swiveling down from the sand into the sea. The sound of someone spotting sliver of silver light off in the distance, the whole thing makes my heart race and my adrenaline escalade.

But before you think we are really weird and disgusting, I would like to assure you that we did not try to grab them when they are in the midst creating new life. We waited until they started to swim back to the sea to catch them. And once they were done, we would chase after them, frantically trying to one but were usually met with the warm waves of the ocean instead.

It’s an odd feeling, being in the water while a school of fish brush against your legs. For me, it helps me feel closer to nature and my ancestors, who probably (at one point of another) had to catch fish with their own hands to survive. It’s such a fulfilling accomplishment catching a fish without the aid of a net or pole. To catch something as slippery as fish makes you feel nothing more than alive and, let’s face it, a bit wild.

After each victorious scream and raised fists fish, we would return our little prisoner to where they belonged making a game of it all the while. At first we were in the Hunger Games and who ever caught the most fish would win because they had defeated starvation. Then we were at war with the fish, but that game quickly ended once we realized that a few of the fish weren’t strong enough to swim back their little homes. So, naturally, we became The Grunion Search and Rescue Team.

When the night was over and the fish had retreated back into their watery beds, we left the beach smiling from ear to ear. Each of feeling, that if it came down to it, we would be able to survive on a deserted island. Because, to us, the adventure we had partaken in was proof enough.


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