Saturday, January 10, 2009

Adventures in traveling alone; How to catch Dorado

First, let me say that you should not believe anything Jonathan and Katie
may have to say, they lie.

Moving on - I realized recently that I have had fewer unusual
adventures/encounters to write about lately, and I have been wondering why.

I think I have figured it out. Since Mid-December and until early Feb, I
have had guests. Non-stop. This has been great fun for me, but one
consequence it that when you have a boat full of friends, you don't have to
put yourself out there quite so much, and your adventures are of a more
conventional nature. Not any less rewarding, just more familiar, so I have
not written so much. Or, maybe I have just been too busy.

We had some great times with Jonathan and Katie, and Dana and I, while we
glad to have some time to ourselves, were sorry to see them go. I was glad
that when we arrive in St Bart's we ran into YoYo, Edith, Fred and Sophie.
But now that the youngsters are gone, we can pick up the energy level a
little bit ;-). Next week, Ken and LeAnn arrive for a 3 week stay on
Madness. I am glad that they will be here so long, as it will give us
greater range.

I went to the local chandlery yesterday, where I met Niko. I was shopping
for some fishing equipment to troll behind the boat and asked him if he knew
much about fishing.

"I Know a leetle beet"

Niko was a professional fisherman, and now a full time cruiser who was quick
to show me the ropes.

"You need dees". We gathered some 300 lb test line, a couple of
Squid-looking lures, some high quality hooks and some sinkers. No pole, no
reel, no leader, no swivels; no device for wrapping and storing the line, no
gaff. Very little money, overall.

"no ting else"

"Do I really need 300lb test?, I don't want to catch a fish bigger than my

"Eef the feesh eez to big for you, you let heem go. Eef you use weak line,
you keel a feesh you never see, you leave a hook in eem, and he will die"

Niko went on to show me the knot to use, not that sissy fisherman's knot,
but a simple knot that works every time and can be done in the dark on a
pitching longline tuna boat. He also showed me how to reel in the fish once
hooked. Make sure you scuff the new line with 220 grit sandpaper, or you
will have no grip. Get a bike inner tube and make a palm protector to give
you grip and keep yourself from getting cut. You keep your feet in one place
just pull the line in hand over hand and let the line pile up around your
feet. When you get the fish up to the boat, you just pull him aboard in a
smooth easy motion. "don't jerk eem". Just bring him in easy and smooth and
don't move your feet. Once you unhook him, you throw the lure right back in
and the line will go out smoothly, because you have not moved your feet, and
are therefore not tangled in it.

Hmm. I can't really picture it happening that way on a pitching deck at sea,
excited as I will likely be at my first catch, and with a thrashing 30
bundle of muscle on deck. But I trust that after years of experience, It can
be done that way. Niko was a professional fisherman, but he gave it up so
that he "would not empty the sea".

"Thees eez less money, but my karma eez good" he said touching his heart and