On the way back to Shinnecock, Barta said, "A successful day would have been getting two yellowfins up on six, and based on experience we would have had them on for less than five minutes. Total. So we did very well."
That evening Barta was back in his Manhattan apartment. He was reminiscing about his days at the University of Colorado, when he had climbed some steep and dangerous cliffs called the Flatirons outside Boulder with no ropes. "It was foolhardy," he admitted. "I didn't know what I was doing. I could have been killed. But when I made it to the top I experienced such a tremendous sense of self-realization that I burst into tears. I'd never felt so unburdened of superficial values, so in control of my destiny."
He glanced out the window, suddenly subdued. He gazed at the cliffs of Manhattan, their windows shimmering in the twilight. He could easily become a misfit, he said, more lost in the middle of the city than he had ever been in the wilds of Maine, were it not for the great ocean wilderness he escapes to every weekend. "You know," he finally said, "I'm hardly ever going to land one of those fish, but I've developed so much respect for them it's unbelievable."
For himself, too, he might have added.