Thai version

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Whale of a Story


It is 1986 in Mogadishu, Somalia and we are on our way for a fishing trip out on the Indian Ocean. We are working on the US Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia. One of the staff in the US embassy has a boat his name is Heinz Eckerd. He keeps the boat anchored out in the bay by were the US embassy has a cabin on the beach and parks at the cabin when he goes out fishing on his boat. The boat has to go through the deep slot in the reef. So the boat is only taken out when that the tide is high and can only be brought back when the tide is high. The boat is a 23 foot fiberglass boat that has been made in Somalia by a Swedish company. It has a two cylinder diesel engine that is good for distance but does not move the boat at a very high speed. I furnish Heinz the diesel fuel for his boat that helps him with his expensive of operating the boat. Heinz says that a boat is just a hole in the water that you put your money into.

We are taken out to the boat by a dugout. It only can hold three people so it needs to make a couple of trips to get everybody aboard the boat. When everybody is aboard we tie the dugout to the anchor rope and can cast off . Heinz boat boy sits up front to watch to make sure that we find the gap/slot in the coral that allows us to go out into the ocean. When the gap/slot is found we head out into the ocean. We then start getting the rods ready for trolling.

We notice a Somalia in a dug out is already out when we get close to him we can see he is fighting a marlin on a hand line from the dugout. We watch him for a short while then as we watch the marlin jumps again and it continues to jump as we watch. Then we decide to continue on so that we can catch some fish. We get the four rods set out for trolling with different lures on each rod. Then we begin our search for the birds. When ever that the large fish feed they push up the smaller fish to the surface were the birds come to feed on the small bait fish. Their under the birds are the larger fish that we are after. We then see a group of birds off to the port of the boat, they are diving into the water to pick up the bait fish that has come near the surface, and then we turn that way and head for were the birds are feeding. As we near the birds we turn to the port again so as not to go thru were the birds are. First one rod is hit and Heinz grabs it. Then when the second rod is hit I grab it we both have a tuna on. They stop the boat and we both are able to fight out the tunas and get them into the boat. Tuna are not fish that jump and put on a great show. They are more like little missiles shooting through the water. We boat our two tuna and find out they are yellow fin tuna. Fresh tuna is great to eat it is nothing like the tuna that you get in cans. Grilled with butter and lemon they really taste great. Tuna taste like chicken, so guess that is why they are known as “The Chicken of the Sea.” We reset the rods and move on. We move close to were the birds are feeding again this time we turn to the starboard side. We think that we had missed them as we are long past the birds when one rod is hit. This time it is a dolphin fish. These are beautiful fish they have high foreheads and they are so brightly colored, they have a fluorescent blue and green when that they are caught. Also they put on a wonderful show when they are caught. They jump twist and turn in the air trying to throw the hook. This dolphin puts on a real aerial show with its jumps and twists and turns in the air. We unhook the fish and add it to our catch then we reset the rods and move out trolling again. Dolphins also are one great eating fish when their fillets are grill with butter and lemon and garlic they add a great treat to any table the grilled tuna along with a salad and vegetable and you have a great meal.

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