The Hudson Canyon is a fisherman’s dream when the fish are jumping, whether one is at the shelf running the walls 80 to 90+miles offshore, one is trolling the Texas Towers, or in the thick of the canyon 100+miles out. It’s also a place to see some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises, and some of nature’s best qualities. The stars, the moon, and the glow off the ocean’s surface are something which can only be described as a breath of fresh air. I have been to some amazing locations, seen some of our nation’s most beautiful architectural marvels, but nothing beats the ocean. I keep telling my son the following single motto and my wife chuckles every time. Well, in fact, my son does as well. “The next best thing to space is the water.” I come from a salty family. Regardless of everything I have been through the fact still remains my father and his father are true Deep Sea Captains. More than 100+ years of salt is in my blood and I am not ashamed of that fact. I have so many stories to share regarding the ocean; the latter is a classroom of some of the harshest lessons that an individual can learn. No lies; you can be laughing one second and drowning the next. The ocean has one rule, one that must be ingrained into anyone who ventures out into the water; that rule is respect.
On one of those trips into the canyon, I was sitting on top of the chair looking down into the cockpit at the lines spread out. I could see nothing for miles. No land. No other vessels. Just the ocean. The laughter comes and goes like the waves rolling over each other. It’s a decent day with four foot rollers, the wind blowing at a steady 12 knots, and I’m not throwing up. I watch the endless whitecaps dance about as the crew eat and drink waiting for that “SNAP!”
The VHF is popping off with other captains and boaters engaging in their humorous banter and discussions of where the hot spots currently are. Damn fish. Always a waiting game and you have nothing but time while you’re on the ocean – just waiting, watching, and listening to everything around you. The music is echoing from the cockpit to the wheelhouse. The gentle mist sprays all around and your only thoughts are of estimating how long it will take to clean the boat from bow to stern and not to forget the transom.
SNAP! Fish on… SNAP! Fish on… SNAP! Fish on… Game on! Everyone is scrambling about trying to real in the other six lines. The Captain yells to get those lines in. Three fish on and the waves of laughter are soon turned to hilarious torts of encouragement for the three on the reels. The Captain throws the throttle in reverse in five second intervals backing down to close the distance between the boat and the fish. The transom is bulldozing through the waves and the water is just plowing over the edge. What was a seemingly water-less cockpit becomes a TV show of America Ninja Water Warrior of who can stand their ground and stay on their feet while being plowed over with waves of water.
Success! In the cockpit are three yellow fin tuna and a bunch of people whooping, hollering, and congratulating each other for the catch. Then everything goes back to the humorous banter and questions of “Where’s the beer? Where’s the beer?” And, so it goes for the rest of the trip. So, after three hours of cleaning from the bow to the stern, including the transom, the trip plays over and over in my mind. What a great way to end the trip.
See you in the next post!