Monday, June 11, 2007

June 10, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 8

Yesterday tuna managed to hit both of our lures, causing one of them to ricochet forward and hit the transom of the boat. As the boat pulled one of the tuna forward on the other lure, he crossed paths with the line of lure launched by the other tuna. The line wrapped around his head, cut into his gills, and garroted him. He fought us as we hauled in both handlines, bloody spray flying. His death spasms set in before we could get him to the boat. Even before we gaffed him, his jaw was already detached by the power of his fight against the line that had strangled him. The tragedy of it all is that it was a huge fish, at least 30 pounds, but we don't like the meat from skipjack, and we still had yellowfin, which we do like, on board. So we threw him to the sharks. We both feel terrible about the waste.

Today, Sten set out one line and picked up a mahi-mahi, one of our favorites. I should mention that the first thing that happens, after Sten yells "fish on," is that he drops his pants. This comic ritual is a courtesy to me as laundress-in-chief. I'm not fussed about boxers stained with fish blood, but back in the Caribe, I got a bit testy about trying to get blood stains out of too many ruined pairs of shorts. This is why Sten is only wearing boxers in most of the fish trophy shots.

My great provider also set about making cardamon rolls today, from his grandmother's recipe. Six months ago he bought a bag of whole white cardamon pods in a spice market in St. Martin, with these rolls in mind. Last night he picked the seeds out of the pods and ground them in a spice mill. Now that he has taken over the baking, I'm not left with much to do around here, so I spent the day studying French. I can now say, "the boy sits under the plane," however much use that will be on an island without an airport.

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