Sorry for the interruption! I haven’t forgotten this! How could I?
I just set the hook on my first tuna! A deckhand was instantly by my side just as intent on me landing landing the fish as I was. Not because I’m cute or Dad paid him, but because we want that fish! The dance begins right off with the fish shooting up the bow. Try as I might, over/under fellow anglers lines get picked up. (Mostly because they aren’t paying attention to their lines; paramount that you keep it straight in front of you.)
The deckhand scrambled to untangle other people’s lines, but some had to be cut all in the name of my fish. I reel down, pull up, the fish strips line off, we continue the battle, the deckhand grabs the rod, jumps up on bow, gets my line around the anchor, hands it back, I put it firmly in my rod belt, down the other side of the boat, reel down, pull up, the deckhand coaches me, urges me on, the tuna probably sees the hull and dives again, I pull with all might, reel, the tuna goes into a death spiral, circling around and around as it tires out, I hear “deep color”, look over the rail, see the flash of iridescent white and blue, closer and closer, another extra spark of strength, we fight each other, I hear and see “gaff”, the large hook on a long stick goes in the water, the deckhand by my side, I remember not to pull it’s head out of the water, it comes out anyway, flaps helplessly at the air, the gaff sticks it, deckhand hoists the gaff, and slaps it on the deck.
We are elated! I’m breathing hard! I realize the adrenaline is slowly relieving itself, my arms are shaking, I am smiling from ear to ear, and I’m ready for another! I’m an addict, perhaps not as bad as my smoking, but I will always be a fisherman!
Mom says I romanticize things, but I believe I see things through, while not practical, special eyes. Maybe I’m not supposed to like touching fish, getting a little bloody, eating sashimi, bringing home food, fighting fish, being at sea, but I love it!
I love watching the land disappear, the sun rise and set on the open ocean, the worries of the world far in the distance, the many colors of sea and sky, it’s calm, it’s furry, and the hope of finding fish.
My first time turned into many times, and many stories. I can only hope for more to come!