Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Laurel and Hardy would have been jealous. If I'd have been watching, I would have been laughing. Instead, I was tripping all over myself, with a net (no pun intended) benefit level of ZERO trying to get our beautiful dinner on board the boat.

It started with a pleasant conversation in the cockpit regarding the desirability of catching a Mahi Mahi for dinner. I'd seen 5 displayed in Bora Bora on the side of the road waiting to be purchased. I described them to Bran and wondered if it meant there was an ample supply of that fish in the local waters. I also asked how the fishing net was attached to the solar arch so that I'd know how to untie it in case it was needed.
We'd left Bora Bora a few hours before and the hand line was already deployed with a pink plastic squid attached. It happened to be attached on the port side of the boat and in a shady spot. Brian sat in the shade and watched the 100 lb test line wiggle through the waters behind us. About 20 minutes after the conversation, Brian said, 'there's one back there.' I hopped up and scrambled to the back deck to watch. Sure enough. I could see the yellow and silvery blue missile darting through the water, just behind the lure. Brian was jiggling the line and giving it sharp tugs to further entice the Mahi Mahi to lunge and bite.
"We got 'im" Brian said moments later. "He's running with us…. Oh my gosh, did you see that? ( I hadn't). He just jumped."
Meanwhile I was operating under full adrenaline. It's my job to net the creatures that Brian pulls out of the water. So I had the net untied and was trying to position myself in a convenient location. After a few more jumps and runs, the fish approached the side of the boat. I put the net down slowly above the water so as not to spook the already agitated victim. My chest was leaning against the aft anchor tied on to the back railing. "OK, get 'im" I shoved the net in front of the head and attempted to pull up. He slipped off of the edge of the net. I tried again, "I got 'im" I said as I saw the fish laying across the top of the net. He was so long he didn't go in, just laid across. I tried to lift the net and tilt it so he'd slide in. No go, his head wasn't going down because it was attached to the line. Not only that, the laws of physics came into play and the heavy weight at the end of my fulcrum (aka net) was too heavy to lift from the handle end. He slid off again. "AAH we're gonna lose 'im" Brian squawked. I went after the fish again with the net and all of a sudden the line was looped around the net handle and down to the fish. Keep in mind that fish don't like to be jerked around by their mouths. This one was flopping and swimming forward and trying to dart sideways. So, the net was now useless but I couldn't put it down because it was twisted in the line. With my right hand I held the net and the left, I grabbed the line underneath leading to the fish. WE had him almost raised to the gunwale when a vigorous lurch pulled the slippery line out of my hand. "AAAAH" Brian lunged for the line with his free hand and started hoisting. Another lurch away and another flash of panic that the meal would slip the hook and get away. Brian grabbed again and in a tangle of line, net and colorful flopping, the fish was aboard and very unhappy about it. I attempted to untangle the net handle and Brian dropped to his knees on top of the tail with his hands holding the head down. I stumbled to the cockpit as fast as I could and grabbed our winch handle. Brian gave some sharp whacks to the head, there was a lot of flopping and the cleanup could begin. I untangled the pile of fishing line and dumped buckets of sea water on the deck. So you see, there were mishaps, mistakes, messes, clumsy moves, and sharp whacks to the head. A perfect Laurel and Hardy skit!
And now….the hot oil is popping in the frypan. Guess what's for lunch.

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