(Underway, 163 Nautical Miles)
No one would be surprised to hear our night shifting schedule is set so that Gregory is up during all prime fishing times. This essentially means he gets sunset and sunrise. It’s during that last shift of the night, when the sun is showing its welcome face, that Greg is up and carrying out the morning rituals; turn off the navigation lights, get all five of his fishing lines in the water, and do a deck lap collecting all the suicidal squid and flying fish.
In the dark of the night, the squid and flying fish are attracted to our running lights – that and they’re just unlucky. They leap onto the deck and maroon themselves there destined for certain death. Once and awhile you’ll be sitting in the salon and hear a hollow thud against the forward vertical windows. If you scramble out on deck in time you’ll find a stunned flying fish, wings outstretched, trying to flop back to the wet world it came from. A quick flick of their tail seaward and they’ve got a new lease on life; and as an added bonus, you can continue your night shift feeling like a good samaritan of the ocean.
The not so lucky ones are collected each morning in the telling light. Their stiff bodies vary in size from wee minnows to near footlong creatures and can be found anywhere and everywhere aboard. Forward deck, aft deck, trampoline, and cockpit. These crafty fliers even find their way into the anchor locker and the stack of buckets under the outside table. Their fate sealed hours ago, Greg chucks them back into the ocean to, no doubt, someone’s benefit below.
From dawn flying fish to dusk fighting fish, the rods let out their piercing scream this evening and the battle was on. As each rod began to dump its line at an alarming pace we barely managed to get the boat slowed down in time to save what little was left. With the jib furled and our SOG slowed Greg was able to get the rods under control. Unfortunately the hooked fish on the starboard rod managed to free itself early in the battle, but Greg prevailed on the port rod and reeled in a meaty skipjack tuna.