"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

What a Catch!

>> Thursday, November 8, 2012

Being out at sea has brought a new sense of rhythm to the group. We have all gotten a chance to experience the pleasure of a full lazy watch and the hardships of dog watch. Classes are always at the same time, 1000 and 1400, and almanac is promptly at 1700 every day. Nothing interrupts our near perfect schedule. Except one thing…a fish on the line.

One word of a fish caught on our line sense the whole boat into a frenzy. Classes are stopped to check out the action, people wake up from their peaceful slumber. Nothing gets the boat going more than the prospect of catching a fish. Although, the true excitement does not start until it has been confirmed that there is indeed a fish on the line. People stand nearby, trying to hide their excitement. Too many times, bubbles have been burst due to false alarms caused by floating sargassum or fish taking a nip but nothing more. So the crowd waits and waits, until there is a clear indication that a fish is on the line.
People no longer can contain their excitement. A crowd gathers around the aft of the boat while others yell down hatches, bringing more people to the show. We have caught seven fish and have released four of them because they were too small. Once the fish is deemed too small, the crowd sadly slumps away in disappointment. These fish have been mostly fourteen to twenty-one inches long, so they clearly had more life to live. However, the three fish we have kept have not disappointed.
We have caught two Mahi Mahi and one Skipjack Tuna. Our latest and greatest was a 37-inch Mahi, not including the tail, which was 11 inches! It must be something imbedded deep down in our DNA that comes out at such times like catching a fish. Once the fish is good and dead, the person who reeled in the fish must eat the heart, which is usually still beating. This is to gain the courage of the fish that has given its life and to show respect to the ocean for giving us food.
As the fish is fileted, the excitement is not over, we resume out life and wait for another bite. After fish tacos or sandwiches, all that is left of the fish is its tail, tied to the end of our bowsprit.


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