We made the sandwiches last night, of course, and went to bed early so to be in good shape for our exertions early this morning. Fred from Austin TX and Robert from North Carolina did not follow our excellent example and so, when we met on the quay at 7:30am they both were bleary eyed and needed to take naps in the middle of our fishing trip. We fancied they eyed our Tupperware and Tropicana with envy, even before we got on board. The mate was late and he too looked like he’d had a rough night. Steve has worked the charter boats for 35 years and, although he swore he hadn’t slept in for eons, there were indications that he too was a man who liked a party.
Geno and Rick were the last two passengers and Art was the Captain. They all wore shorts, t-shirts and baseball caps. Godiva wore a short, floaty 70s mu mu and I wore a baby blue linen top that I fancied passed for a fishing smock. We both sported large brimmed hats. She was channeling Princess Margaret in the Mustique days, and I looked like Judi Dench from Room with a View. The men were very polite and nobody sniggered.
We sped off in the direction of Havana and Art celebrated with a fat Cuban cigar. Godiva climbed up on the bridge but was forced to beat a retreat, sickened by the combination of the smoke and the sway. When the water reached 600 feet deep, we slowed to trolling speed and watched as Steve set up the lines. For a long while nothing happened. Then both Godiva and I had a fish on. We reeled’em in—and had to throw ‘em back. Our mahi mahi (it’s not right to say dolphin) were less than 20 inches long and so illegal to remove from the water.
In the 4 hour trip, 3 fish were caught, but sadly not by us. We shared our sandwiches (tomato and cheese and chicken and tomato) with the boys and in return they gave us a fillet or two of theirs to take home. Just as well—we’d already bought the rice, salad, lemon and garlic in anticipation of a fresh-caught dinner.