Where did 2014 go? It’s like I downed a New Year’s cocktail, put my glass on the bar, and already it’s time for a toast to celebrate 2015. Meanwhile, there have been big changes in Rocky Point, mostly concerning traffic flow and projects that did or didn’t pan out, which happens anywhere that politics run into reality. I was sea-gazing, gathering my thoughts for yet another run at writing the Great American Novel when Suze Anderson of Phoenix, AZ, asked me a question.
SUZE: What’s that smell?
CAP’N GREG: Excuse me?
SUZE: Something stinks.
CAP’N GREG: Well, I took a shower today. Or maybe yesterday.
SUZE: No, there’s something else. Like, fishy.
CAP’N GREG: Well, it could very well be fish, as we are sitting in a bar above the fish market.
SUZE: Huh. I never thought of that.
CAP’N GREG: Fresh fish, especially saltwater varieties, hardly ever have an odor. But their skins and entrails, left over from cleaning, will sometimes become ripe after a while.
SUZE: Ripe like an apple?
CAP’N GREG: No, more like rotten fish.
SUZE: Maybe that’s it.
CAP’N GREG: Or it could be gulls and pelicans that feed on them.
SUZE: They smell like what they eat?
CAP’N GREG: You have no idea. Often while I’m fishing a hungry pelican will snatch a fish I have hooked, and they get caught themselves. Grabbing them and setting them free is like wrestling with a giant Starkist tuna can with feathers.
SUZE: So there is a rather funky sea scent to it?
CAP’N GREG: To put it mildly. But enjoying the whole sensory experience of the Sea of Cortez takes a gradual acceptance of nature’s sights and smells, and once you do, it is spectacular.
SUZE: Now that you mention it, Cap’n Greg, the aroma is subtly erotic with overtones of seaweed and salsa. It makes me all wooly inside. Adventurous. Impetuous. Giddy with the scintillating tang of excitement. Sniffing a wafting whiff of adventure. Gorged on a heady banquet of sun-poached barnacles.
CAP’N GREG: Whoa, Nelly! It sounds to me like you are suffering from serious olfactory overload.
SUZE: I am smitten with smells! Suddenly I want to inhale it all! What can I do?
CAP’N GREG: The only known cure is to be downwind of Bird Island for about 30 minutes where there’s an epic stench created by centuries of roosting sea birds.
SUZE: Will it overpower even rotting fish?
CAP’N GREG: Suze, you’re not guano believe it.
SUZE: That pun was a real stinker.
CAP’N GREG: You think that one was bad, how about Happy Pew Year?