Lots of people love their jobs. Many doctors, truckers, blue-collar, white-collar - even no-collar laborers as much look forward to going to work each day as coming home at day’s end. But few of them love every part of their work. All would have an answer to the question, “What’s the thing you dislike most?”
I love my job as a charter fishing captain. I love to be on the water. I love being outdoors. I love the challenge of getting the fish to bite for my customers and I truthfully enjoy watching them reel in a big one more than if I had the fish on the line myself.
So what’s the worst thing about my job? Boat maintenance? Compliance with government regulations? Reluctant fish? Snotty customers?
Nope - it’s predicting the weather.
Everyone has expressed amazement that meteorologists can mis-forecast the weather so much of the time and still stay employed. (Maybe that’s why they like their jobs.)
Easy for them, they work indoors. No matter if their light and variable wind predictions turn into unexpected gales. No matter if a slight chance of rain turns into downpours. For charter captains, it’s different.
All of my customers are choosing to go fishing with me over other leisure time activities. No one gets off work to go fishing, they plan for it. If they are out on the Brother Nature, they aren’t camping or golfing or staying home to putter in the garden. So if I’m wrong, not only do I subject my people to a miserable day on the lake, I exclude them from a different, probably more enjoyable activity.
|This couple drove from Central Illinois to fish with me.|
So I have to be better than the weather bimbos and staff meteorolgists. I have to be better than the weekend interns the government leaves in charge on weekends at the National Weather Service. I have to sift through and analyze forecasts that predict winds 10 to 20 miles per hour.
There’s about 5 feet of wave height difference between 10 and 20 miles per hour. There’s no such thing as a passing thunderstorm if it passes over the boat when we are 10 miles out in the lake.
So I’m sitting here side-lined on a white-capped weekend. Saturday was an easy call. Northeast gales always keeps the boat on the trailer. This time yesterday, however, the pros were calling for fairly calm seas for today. I didn’t much believe them.
I bet they are inside, maybe still in bed. Perhaps the interns are looking at the data and wondering what went wrong. The lake's weather buoys are registering east gales and showing 10-footers on the lake.
Though I’m happy I made the right call, this time, I’m looking ahead to Tuesday when my next outing is scheduled. It’s not looking good. Wednesday looks better but what about the rain? Thursday - I won’t even believe my own prediction for Thursday on a Sunday morning.