Sam pulled in the mainsail and slowed to boat to a crawl.
“What's up,” Irene asked, “Why are we slowing down?”
“We aren't going to make the islands by night fall, so I thought we might see if we can catch something for supper,” Sam explained.
He took two of the large rods he brought and after baiting the lines, he began to pay out the lines behind the boat. The little sail and slow forward speed set up a sort of ersatz trolling arrangement. Irene watched as the rod tips bobbed from the motion of the waves. It only took a few minutes before one of the rods dipped sharply. Sam grabbed the rig and set the hook. He knew immediately that it wasn't a very large fish and he set to reeling it in. When the hook neared the boat, Sam was disgusted to see a small banded cat shark.
“Waste of good bait,” Sam complained, “all that effort and nothing to show for it.”
He brought the small shark along side the boat and swung it aboard. Throwing a towel over the fish, he took his long nosed pliers and removed the hook. Irene turned the fish on the deck and pointed his head toward the water and slipped it under the railing, just managing to keep a grip on the towel. No sooner than the Shark was thrown back, the other rod dipped down. Sam quickly grabbed the rod and jerking back he set the hook. This time he knew he had something. The fight was on. The sailboat wasn't equipped for fighting large game fish. There was no fighting chair to strap into so Sam sat down on the deck and wrapped his legs around the rear mast. After 30 minutes or so, Sam finally had the eighty plus pound yellow fin tuna, on board. Sam was especially careful when gaffing the large fish. He knew if he hooked it in the wrong place, the fish would quickly bleed out and a lot of flavor would be lost. Irene handed Sam the small aluminum bat and he quickly dispatched the fish. While Irene brought in the other lines, Sam made quick work of cleaning the fish and cutting it into some very fresh tuna steaks. He put the fish on the grill and the remainder was wrapped and secured in the propane refrigerator while Irene made a salad with the fresh things they had bought in port.
After eating the resplendent meal, the couple relaxed on the deck. Sam had a small tumbler of Makers Mark, complimented with a genuine Cuban cohiba robusto and Irene sipped a glass of an excellent white wine.
“It really doesn't get any better than this,” Sam said to Irene, as he puffed a column of smoke into the early evening sky, “This is what life is all about. Not working your tail off for a stack of money, but having enough that you can just relax and enjoy what is there.”
“I have never known a life of leisure,” Irene answered, “I have had to work for everything I have, but this, I could get used to. If you sit back and take in the spectacle of nature, you can almost forget what we left behind. I pray for those that are still back home, dealing with the aftermath.”
“My plan is to find one of the small uninhabited islands on the edge of the Cayman chain, and set up for a few days," Sam explained, "I need to rig a better antenna, so if we can anchor the boat, maybe I can run a line to a tree on shore or, I can erect the portable mast I have below. If we can raise someone on the radio, maybe we can get enough information, we, can plan our next move,” said Sam throwing the last half inch of the cigar into the deep blue Caribbean water.
Last edited by fastback08; 03-16-2016 at 09:29 PM.
"Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".
My good friend, Shelby Foote