Trip Reports

A Piscatory Story (06-Oct-2001-16-45):
4:45 PM local time, Saturday, Oct. 6th (0646 Oct. 6th UTC) 10 35 S 134 25 E. Temp. 84, Humidity 80%, Cloud Cover 98%.

Ever since we arrived at Hiva Oa, the crew of Maverick has been getting grief from other cruisers about our fishing, or rather, about our not fishing. Rich Oba, our neighbor in the harbor back home in Richmond, and Mr. Shrode's father, Allen, had given us advice and a lot of gear, but on the passage to the Marquesas we lost the two deep sea lures they gave us and we just kind of let it go after that.

But in Port Moresby, the shock and amazement of Paul and Francis of Okiva that we weren't fishing, together with their absolute insistence, shamed us into giving it another go. Paul lent us a very nice Penn deep-sea reel, another lure, some fresh advice and not a little admonishment. We would not be able to face him again if we didn't give it a go.

Two days ago, Ship's Angler Terry Shrode pulled in the first fish, a bonito, of our voyage. We hauled it aboard with Rich Oba's net and Mr. Shrode walloped it with a winch handle. The Captain was not entirely comfortable viewing the maniacal glee with which Mr. Shrode decapitated and gutted the fish, to be honest. When there are only two aboard and one takes a fiendish delight in murder, well, there's enough cause for concern. The foredeck ran with gore and blood. Soon, however, the carnage was forgotten, the fish sautéed with butter and garlic, and the canned dinner Mr. Shrode had just prepared, forgotten with it. Now Mr. Shrode is of course the king of the sea and nothing but fishing holds any interest for him whatsoever, so the Captain has been forced into doing odd jobs like figuring out which direction the boat is going. It's not as easy as it looks. ADDENDA AND ERRATA 1. The Royal Papua Yacht Club has 100 paid employees, not 30. 2. When Spinks went overboard in the race and the kite flew into the sky, it was blowing 40, according to a nearby boat with an anemometer, not 30. 3. Not too long ago I spoke about flying the drifter on a pole to windward, genoa to leeward, and the full main in light air. I just read an article where Ted Turner talked about the same basic idea but in heavy air, and for the same reason, really. In light air the problem is that we don't carry a symmetrical spinnaker and sailing 140-150 degrees off the wind is difficult because the genoa collapses. Even if you had a spinnaker, it would be difficult for the vane to drive the boat, but with the other arrangement it can handle it easily because the boat balances itself better. Turner used it, with heavier sails, when it was blowing so hard that handling the spinnaker was too squirrelly and the other combination gave him as much power and was more forgiving.

PS to Dave Tolmie: Jeesh. You sail all the way to Australia and who finds you? Dave Tolmie. I guess that's some of the bad news about email. The good news is, we can't quite hear you from here. But seriously, folks, welcome aboard.

PS to Hank: Funny how the topic of penis sheathes brings out the poet in some people. I found your promotion of the penis sheath at the expense of the codpiece quite uplifting. "The penis sheath protects the weapon like the sheath enfolding Saladdin's sword. It makes a smooth and facile covering when immediate action is called for," indeed. I beg your forgiveness in mentioning this, but should a gentleman of your mature years still be taking "immediate action?" I call to your attention that old chestnut by Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness."

PS to Pastor Bob: Thanks for not excommunicating me, and no, I had no part in the making of Mrs. Riedel's respectability and decency, you can be sure of that.

PS to Peter Haapaniemi: Thanks for the thoughts from the Great Midwest.

PS to Peter Siegel: Nasty and brutish, OK. Just don't call me short.

PS to Steve Fishell: Thanks for the words of encouragement. Don't retire just yet.

PS to Doug, Dennis, Blackie, Norton, GV, Mack, Sally, and everyone else who has sent their words of encouragement or belittlement: Thanks for all your thoughts. They speed Maverick on its way

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