"Obama's An Idiot" is where my political bitches now live. Go ye thereto and read.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Deadly Catch

Ever watch that show? You know, the one on the Discovery Channel where the take the boats out on the Bering Sea and fill it up with those delicious crabs so we can devour the legs?

Well, I have a profound respect for those idiots. No, I'm not insinuating they're stupid. More like crazy, suicidal, nuts, ... Besides the fact that it's a dangerous job, anyone who can survive more than say, 1/2 hour on those waters without puking their guts out is a hero in my book.

Jean heard a rumor that I had been - shall we say, a little indisposed on a fishing trip. So I figgered I would go ahead and lay the story out.

See, here's the deal...

A few years back, 'Mrs Curmudgeon', 'The Boy' (my nephew) and I took a trip to Alaska to visit the "Pick" family. They had invited us to stay with them, and it sounded like a great idea. So off we went. They went ahead and planned what turned out to be a great trip. Even set up a couple fishing charters. What a kick! If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend it. Except for the ... well, I'll get to that.

So there we are, heading merrily to sea to catch a limit of halibut. The harbor we leave from is nice and calm, the weather sunny and warm. The boat was, as I recall, roughly 30 feet in length, and the crew consisted of the captain and the mate.

As we leave the calm waters of the harbor, it starts to get a bit choppy. Not surprising at all, since we are out in the middle of Cook inlet, and approaching the Gulf of Alaska. I get motion sickness quite easily, but my tender belly isn't gurgling yet. Although, I'm thinking that if the waters aren't any calmer where we're going, it's going to start churning.

So after about an hour or so, we get to the fishing spot. Uh-oh, this doesn't look good. The boat is acting like a cork in the washing machine. Up... down... up... twist back down... up... pitch... down... roll... back down... You get the picture. I was getting queasy wid' a quickness.

I turn look at 'The Boy', to inquire as to the state of his intestinal fortitude - and the answer is immediate. Without a word spoken, I could tell. He was going down. And fast.

The phrase "a little green in the gills" isn't some silly idiom akin to 'Green with envy', or 'Yellow with fear'. Oh no. You literally turn green. At least The Boy was. I've seen friends after a weekend bender looking better Monday morning than that poor bastard did. Sad part is, I could tell I looked just like him. And I knew I would be chumming the waters before very long. But I wasn't going to let this trip slip by. We had flown hundreds of miles and spent plenty of money, and it wasn't going to go to waste. I was going to catch me some fucking halibut.

So there we were, merrily bobbing around in the water. The mate fixed up the fishing rods, baited the hooks, and gave a quick in-service on the technology, methodology and biology of catching halibut. He also mentioned that if any of us were to upchuck, that we should do it on the deck. It would be easier to hose off the deck that fish us out of the water should we accidentally fall overboard whilst hanging over the rail to kack.
The Boy missed the entire spiel though as he was now laying on a bunk in the forward cabin hanging his head over the side puking into a five gallon bucket. Fat lot of good he would be.

So the lines are in the water, the bait sinking to the sea floor, and I am thinking ... urp.
Uh-oh. This ain't good.
Urp...swallow. Ugh.
The mouth is watering... urp... swallow... no turning back now...
Fuck it. I'm hanging over the rail. The last thing I want to do is look at my own puke after I spew it all over the deck.

BWAAAHHHHRRRRPPPP!!!!! Oh yeah. That's nice.
There goes my breakfast, my dignity and any inkling of pride I may have brought on board with me.
Fuck it. I don't care.

"FISH ON!!!! REEL IT UP!!!" says the mate.
"Uh, I think I'm a little preoccupied. Give me a sec."
"I'll start it, you grab it when you can"

"ZZZZzzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZZ" goes the reel bringing the 'barn door' up from the ocean floor. The water is fairly deep there, so it's not like these things just pop right up and out. No, it takes a minute or two to bring them up.

Urp... swallow... No time to yack now, I need to get this fish on board. Urp... ZZZZZzzzzZZZZZzzzz...

So I bring up the halibut, we stow it, bait the hook, send the line back, and urrrp... Here we go again. "YEEEEEEAAAAKKKKKK!!!!" over the rail again. I glance up and see the mate grinning - somewhere between "Fucking candy-ass" and "I thought I told you folks to puke on the deck."
"Fuck off" I say. To myself. I'm not in the mood.
But, I WILL make the best of this trip. After all, I do like fishing. I just don't think I like puking between each catch.

Here we go again...
Urp... swallow...
"BYYYAAAAAKKKKK"... grunt... grunt... grunt...

You know how it is when you puke and puke, but nothing is left to puke? Dry heaves? Well, we're now to that point. My gut thinks I need more purging, but there ain't nothing left. I'm thinking to myself "Good gawd man. There's nothing left in there. How the hell can you still be puking? If you feel something fuzzy coming up, you better swallow it. It's probably your asshole."

"FISH ON!!!!"

Gawddammit. Stop puking and grab the rod!!
Urp... ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz... urp...

Okay, I have the hang of it now. If I time it right, I can get the fish up and while the mate is baiting the hook again I'll have time for a quick yak. Then as the line is sinking, I'll have time for another.

And so it went the rest of the trip. I timed my puking fits to the rhythm of fishing. I would get a good 'heave-ho' in whilst the mate baited and tossed the line, then another before reeling the fish into the boat.

Finally, we've caught a decent share of fish and the captain asks if we want to head to another spot and catch some more or if we've had enough. Sorry Pick if I don't want to play along any more, but I'm ready to head back.

So we head back to the harbor. I stay in the back of the boat where the ride isn't quite as rough and continue to try to yak up some more breakfast. Of course, there is nothing left, but my gut doesn't care. I think that by now, it's just got a thing going and don't know how to quit. I'm guessing this will continue for the next week or so. There's no way I'll live through this. My insides are obviously turned inside out by now.

But once we reach the calm waters of the harbor, all is well. The tummy settles down and I start to feel human once again. By all that is holy, I think I may actually live! Good gawd-a-mighty!

Well, it was overall, a good trip. We had plenty of fish to bring home, and the salmon charter was a hoot. That charter was taken in calmer waters and no puking was involved. We had a good time in Alaska and I would go back in a heartbeat.

But I won't leave Cook inlet.



Jean said...

hehehehehehehehehe.... I keep tellin' ya you are soooo good at this story-telling stuff!
I hope Pick reads this.
Thanks for doing this, Dave...:)

curmudgeon said...

Thanks Jean!
Yeah, that luck shit and their babysitter who also went with us were just fine on the boat. I was quite jealous.

linda said...

What a vivid description--I almost got sick myself! heh

curmudgeon said...

Usually folks puke for other reasons whilst reading this blog... ;)

The Stormin Mormon said...

"How the hell can you still be puking? If you feel something fuzzy coming up, you better swallow it. It's probably your asshole"


I love charter fishing. We had so much fun the last time we went, and then there was the whole mess of fish that I got to take home.

curmudgeon said...

Definitely. Those fish were some of the best I had ever tasted.