4 September 1997

(Part of my Gone Fishing story)

Thursday, 4 September 1997

Day 48 at Sea

1230 hours SAMOAN TIME (Pacific Time minus four hours)

I’m not sure if it is the sea’s way of saying thanks for visiting, or if it was something I said to piss of Poseidon. After 48 days at sea, 42 sets, and approximately 1300 tons of fish caught, tomorrow will be the last day at sea – day number 49.

We are currently heading directly southwest, directly to the wonderful island of American Samoa. The beautiful day that I awoke to, gave away to some of the worse seas we have seen this trip. Rainy, windy, and choppy. Not really that bad, but enough to make my walk resemble a drunk’s stagger (more so than the usual uneven strides managed aboard a boat at sea).

I guess I can hardly complain, as we never encountered any weather that made me feel even remotely uncomfortable.

We are going to port still 15-20 tons short. After checking a couple of rafts and finding nothing, Captain Joe got the OK from Carlos (main StarKist man in Samoa) to call it a trip.

As of 0500 hours this morning, we had 460 nautical miles (529 miles) to go. What would take less than an hour in an airliner, will take this boat 25 hours – with the hammer down. With an estimated time of arrival of 1700 hours, there will be plenty of time to make the Friday flight to Honolulu and start (or continue, depending on how you look at it) my vacation.

I am not sure if I am sad or glad that I won’t be spending any more appreciable amount of time in Samoa. This was my first trip to another faraway foreign country (Canada doesn’t count in my book), but I think I have had enough of Samoa to satisfy my curiosity. I only regret that there won’t be time to make a longer sightseeing flight around the island.

Yesterday, the crew started cleaning the boat, scrubbing down the outside with Scotchbrite pads and painting the forward section of the wet deck. Jean and my contribution to the whole affair was the flight deck. Hardly a fair contribution, but our positions afford certain privileges.

Not much to do in the last day and a half. Just pack and work on my suntan – that is, if the weather improves.

The morale aboard the ship is fairly high. Amazing what the thought of going to port after almost two months will do to a person’s outlook on life.

These past months have been very interesting indeed. An experience I will never forget. I have finally satisfied my curiosity about tuna boats, and the jury is still out. Ask me when I get back from Hawaii. This trip has been too stressful. I need to relax!

Next Entry – Thoughts 2 decades later
Previous Entry – 30 August 1997