Some of the crews wave to me as they go by, bronzed men and women with floppy hats and sunglasses sitting in captain's chairs, drinking cocktails out of martini glasses.
The boats make quite a wake as they go by, and the resulting waves slap against the retaining wall at the end of the dock, spraying a light salt water mist onto me.
When my sister and I were little kids and we saw the boats coming in from the ocean, we would jump on our bikes and ride to the marina to see the day's catch. The huge fish would be hung from hooks to weigh them and people would gather around in awe at the marlin, tuna and the occasional shark that were brought in. The Captain's of the boats, big men with rough faces and hands would be drinking Schaeffer beer and smoking cigarettes and speaking to each other quietly about the day's events.
Now I look back and I can see so clearly the shark's eyes and it's mouth open and the teeth almost bared in defiance and the blood dripping from it's mouth onto the cement.
The smell of the tar on the pilings makes me smile, reminding me of pushing the small row boat off from the marina when I was young, on the way to flounder fishing in the mysterious Sinepuxent Bay with my parents.
On those days, the bay current was always swift and my thoughts of surviving a fall into the choppy waters were always in the back of my mind. I imagined the current pulling me under, and trying desperately to reach the surface.
My dreams followed the same scenario, falling in from some great height, salty green water enveloping me, the tremendous pressure keeping me down. Always vainly trying to swim to the air, not quite making it, on my way to safety but never quite reaching it.
And then I would wake up.
Eventually I made myself jump into the bay to assuage my fears.
And all the nightmares that I had been having about drowning in the Bay disappeared shortly thereafter.