Thursday, April 30, 2009

Unproductivity Paying Off

I was busy berating myself for being so unproductive this morning (it's a holiday in Japan) when I heard somebody down on the street call out my name. I opened the door and a girl was on a scooter to tell me that the marlin fishing boat was leaving in five minutes. Not much time, but I can work fast when marlin fishing is on the line.

We took off at 9am and were fishing in big swells by 9:30am. Marlin fishing is defined by long, long periods of monotonous trolling occasionally interrupted by an hour of chaos. Our interruption came at 1:30pm, when a marlin hit our right-most pole (of five). I was the first to hear it and I yelled up to the captain who kicked the engines into gear. I immediately jumped to the nearest pole to begin bringing loose lines in so they wouldn't get tangled in the fight. But on my second crank, another marlin hit the pole I was reeling! So I moved on to the next pole.

I saw one of the marlin jump half out of the water twice, but mostly I concentrated on reeling lines in quickly. The captain had a strange reaction to the situation, differing his normal strategy of putting the boat in gear and keeping the throttle on for many minutes. Perhaps he was also unsure by having two marlin on at once - it certainly confused me!

Unfortunately when I finally (after about 2 minutes) got to grabbing a pole with a marlin on it, both of them were gone. The first marlin somehow cut the line of the second and then he got off himself.

The remaining three hours of trolling were spent thinking about nothing but how I could/should have done things differently. (Ordering the bystanders to bring lines in, even if I can only do it with gestures, and keeping a better eye on the marlin rod to ensure the line stays tight.)


erin said...

that's a pretty great story. especially because it involves you failing.

Dave said...

you're such a jerk! (and just for the record, i did everything right. you know this.)