Catch and Eat

Time on my boat alone or with friends is my idea of heaven. Having my own boat, Nordic Mast, allows me the privilege of sailing and fishing whenever I want. I consider myself a very lucky outdoor soul. There is nothing like the peace and quiet or the times when things get exciting when you are reeling that big one in. If I am alone, I am content to contemplate the vast breadth of the sea and enter a private meditative realm. It is my time off work and I am in the zone in minutes. I know why boating is so popular around the world. A yacht is one kind of experience for the super rich, but my take on the sport is quite different when on my Catalina. She’s a beauty, small and elegant, and serves me well with her graceful unfurled sails.

When friends are on board and it is play time, I go into full gear with drinks, equipment, and snacks. We fish all day from dawn until dusk at which time we can enjoy our catch grilled to perfection on deck. Definitely worthy of posting on Facebook. When I say fresh, I mean something you will never eat from the fish counter at the supermarket. No wonder local restaurant chefs go down to the docks to get fish right off the boat so customers can enjoy what I know to be true.

Although I don’t drink beer often, I buy the guys’ favorite beverage because I he know my friends like it. I select two or three of their regular brands. On a sunny, warm day, I agree that a cold brew hits the spot. Their yakking about it isn’t what convinced me however. I found the best-tasting beer for a novice non-drinker like myself, as recommended by the knowledgeable store manager. I anticipated a good taste but was surprised at how much I really liked it. Beer may be found in my below deck fridge from now on. I hope you like my new brand.

The glorious day was capped off by the most sublime fresh-caught meal. The fish weren’t large but incredibly good. I am not even sure what we ate. With a little lemon and butter, it was divine. It could have been tuna, mackerel, flounder or turbot. I am usually good at identifying our catch, but I was distracted by my beer-slugging friends. Our outing was the best ever and no one wanted to end the trip and go ashore. Since we had a lavish supply of ice-cold beer, we had no desire to continue drinking in a local beach bar. That would be suitable for another time.

We ate a good portion of our fish and placed the rest, gutted and clean, in the ice cooler. Perhaps a few of us would grill them the next evening in one of our backyards. The question on the table, of course, is who would bring the beer. I had my turn!

Nice, Relaxing Day

Sailing with my wife is my favorite pastime. We choose a different route every time, weather permitting. It is an entire day that alternates between operating the sails, making lunch, taking photos, and relaxing on deck. We love to stare at the scenery that passes by. Once, we spotted an island in the near distance and had to find out what was there. I knew it was small and probably didn’t have any inhabitants. It would be an exploring adventure. I found a good safe place to dock the boat and hoped after a long walk we could find it. I have a pretty good sense of direction, and so does my wife. She is usually a better compass than the real ones.

It was a sunny warm day, perfect for a metal detector hunt. I had brought it on the boat just in case. I carried it along with some beverages and snacks to the local beach. I have used the device before a few times and had some limited knowledge of how it works after reading some metal detector reviews online. You have to be careful to adjust the settings so you find the right things. You can get inundated with junk if the setting is too low. High sensitivity will limit the finds to metals—hopefully gold or silver. We didn’t expect much but thought it would be a fun experience. At the very least, it would be a nice, relaxing day together. Life is built of such wonderful moments. It is the way we amass memories for posterity. We never sit idle on lazy days.

Metal detectors can be tricky so we gave it some time. Most of the early “finds” were pieces of junk—worn out machine parts, a cigarette lighter, bottle caps, and nails. Clearly someone had been here before. It wasn’t as remote an island as we had originally thought. This, however, made it more likely that we would find something of value. We ignored the assorted trash and continued to the end of the sandy beach, our toes immersed in warm, soft sand. We turned to go back to the boat. Not two or three minutes later, my wife yelled at me to stop. She was holding the metal detector tightly in front of her. We both looked down in joy. “We have struck oil,” she laughed, meaning we found gold.

We dug up a gold coin that I joked must be a Spanish doubloon. “Or it could be pirate booty,” I added, pretending it was very old. In point of fact, I wasn’t sure at all about it. It wasn’t a new coin to be sure lacking shine and polish. We would take it to a special old coin dealer when we got home. There was no way I would locate an exact replica on line. We scampered to the boat and made the long voyage back. We couldn’t wait for Monday so we could have our find evaluated. To end the story before I go on too long, the dealer examined it carefully and pronounced it to be gold. We were more than ecstatic.