Friday, October 12, 2012

Lovely Martha

So I'd like to think I'm a versatile girl. In fact, I'll try just about anything once.

When I was young I went fishing for the first time. I was perhaps six when my dad, who is a master clammer/crabber/lobster man, took me on my first fishing trip. I caught a little trout and felt like a million bucks. About 20 years later, I went to a ranch in outer Lincoln and made a fishing pole out of a stick and caught a 3 pound Large Mouth Bass. Woo-hoo!

My grand-dad is a big fisherman and use to get on the boat every weekend. We'd catch our fill of Rock Cod.

But now, I am an ANGLER! Not a simple fisherwoman - an ANGLER!!!

My husband's very closest friend, Mike, called us and asked us to join him and his wife on a charter fishing trip the following day in San Francisco. To be honest, I had no desire to go. I rolled my eyes and hemmed and hawed. Then my husband passed me the phone and Mike said, "C'mon, Gwen, please come with us. It'll be great." I answered cheerfully but secretly begrudgingly, "Ok!"

And, Thank God, I agreed to it! It was one of the most exciting days I have ever had in my life!

Mike and Christina picked us up at 2:45 AM. Yup, our day started before the crack of dawn. We got coffee, ate bagels and drove to the San Francisco City. We parked somewhere near the Embarcadero, grabbed our stuff and jaunted to the dock - all in the pitch of night.

We were the first group on Lovely Martha and we scoped our spots right away. We met the captain and the crew and as soon as I arrived on the deck of the boat, my previously cantankerous attitude left! I was so excited.

The other group of four Japanese folks arrived and we were ready to shove off.

The crew went over safety, courteousness and basic angling - for instance, when you hear the fish on a hook, scream, "FISH ON!"

As we made our way through the darkness, all of us sat in the cabin exhausted and freezing. My husband slept, Mike slept and Christina and I chatted. All the Japanese folks slept and then the boat slowed to 3 knots.

The air was bright with glare and fog and we readied our poles. The first fish was caught shortly after that by one of the Japanese girls and it was a biggie. I was a little discouraged but the Captain (also, Mike) came over to me and said, "Don't you worry, I bet you'll catch the biggest one of the day!" I brightened and went and stood by my pole again!

There is quite a bit of waiting on a fishing boat. It's about 97 percent waiting and 3 percent of sheer heart racing excitement. And that three percent is a hgih I'll chase forever.

At around high noon, Mike (the captain) came on deck to check out the scene. I glanced at my pole and saw some movement. The entire boat including me screamed, "FISH ON!" It was my pole. I ran to it, grabbed the pole and began reeling with all my might! I was helped by one of the crew members who kept telling me to point the tip of the pole to the bow of the ship...I was reeling and pointing and panting. And Mike (the captain) told me to relax! How could I relax? I was so extremely excited I was overwhelmed. It took me a good five minutes to reel this fish in. Pure excitement - like your first kiss or the first time you drove a car. Mike Rescino, the captain of the Lovely Martha, grabbed my fish with the big net and VOILA...his premonition had been correct! I had caught a 35 pound Salmon.

To say our day on the Lovely Martha was good is nothing short of an understatement. It's right up there with my wedding!

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