Monday, August 24, 2015

Do Not Weep at the World

Oyster Knife
With fishing “in the blood,” Tom has a healthy respect for the needs of both boat and man when at sea. He knows that knives are as necessary for a functioning fishing ship as fuel. As such, he’s got his fair share of knives on board.

One of the knives he keeps close at hand is the “Vicky,” a Victorinox knife. He uses this knife for everyday tasks onboard, and it’s exclusively for working on the ship. In fact, Tom rates this knife as important as his pliers, and keeps them together in the toolbox when he’s ashore.

The other two blades that find their berths onboard at all times are a fillet knife and an oyster knife. They can be found in the galley, and they very rarely make their way ashore.

In day-to-day fishing, Tom carries two folding knives, as well as one sheathed knife for safety. This comes from years on the sea with his father, who told him to always “back up his back up,” as you can never be too careful. His primary safety knife is a sheepsfoot folding knife, which has a serrated edge to assist if he has to cut through a line onboard. If asked, Tom would describe this as his favorite knife, as it was the first knife his father gave him. Tom’s father wanted to ensure his son could get out of any fix he was in, which made the serrated blade ideal. Plus, the sheepsfoot design meant that if he hit a wave, he wouldn’t have to worry about the point injuring Tom. While Tom checks the deployment often, and keeps the knife as clean as possible, life at sea often takes a toll on knives, especially those of the folding variety. He’s heard enough stories about people dying because their knives wouldn’t deploy in time to have a back-up as well.

Tom’s primary backup is a straight blade favored by divers, as it weathers sea life well. The Gerber River Runner has a home in a permanently-affixed sheath on his bad weather gear, as well as a second sheath for every-day wear.

His secondary backup is a folding knife as well, though it has a point. He bought this one himself, and while it’s not a sheepsfoot style, he finds it useful to have a blade with a point. He carries this blade wherever he goes, and feels off if it’s not at his hip.

 I do not weep at the world; I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. - Zora Neale Hurston

Credit for blade info and pics:
Oyster knife pic from: 
Folding knives info and pics came from:
Gerber pic came from: and the info came from years on the river/ocean with my own father.
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