Thursday, April 20, 2006

4/20/06 Thursday planning for big offshore trip Friday trip!

It has been since April 1st-2nd weekend that we have been out fishing. Where did the three weeks go? Jack's work took him away and there have been days upon days of high seas this spring. As the Bible says, this too shall pass. As our days warm up, our seas finally flatten out to that perfect postcard weather. Not hot enough for thunderstorms, not cold enough for a jacket.

Today is the day of preparation. Jack and his coworkers have put together a wonderful day of offshore fishing and will be hopefully coming back with any of the pelagic species - Yellowfin & blackfin tuna, Mahi mahi, wahoo, kingfish, cobia and possibly any of the sail- & swordfish species. Pelagics are any fish that stay in the upper water column searching for food on the top of the water. His friend has brined (salted) & rigged w/ hooks 3 dozen ballyhoo - a treat for the pelagics. Also, Mahi love flying fish too. Jack and I are going to clean out, load needed equipment and check everything to be in working order. Preparation is the key. You never know what species you will run into when you're out there in the Spring.

As for me, I have to get past my pouting of not being able to go. My boys are too young to tread water for hours if any terrible accident should happen. The ocean is filled with floating debris that can pierce the hull of a boat and cause an accident. While we carry 2 radios and tons of life-jackets, we do not have an emergency EPIRB system to alert the Coast Guard automatically when it hits water. One of our radios is hand-held and water-proof but it will not save your life like an EPIRB system. It activates immediate when hitting water. We also will invest (hopefully this year) in a sturdy emergency life-raft so none of us have to tread water.

We had friends that were overturned on a return trip home from the Bahamas during the approach of Hurricane Arlene (2005). A wave tipped the nose down and it became caught under the water and following seas flipped the back-end over. Fortunately, the two men 1) had an EPIRB 2) clung to the hull of their boat 3) could dive under to get some food, drinks and supplies to survive the night. They were found the next day after suffering through 30 hrs of 6 ft+ seas. So the moral is I shouldn't pout. I should be patient until we have all the safety gear and our boys also get a little older. For now, this is more a man's trip to go out to the gulf stream and possibly cross it to the other side where the water is deep, it is blue, and it is filled with BIG game fish.

Also, here is another little lesson in offshore fishing weather. On any given day, you have to consider 3 different types of weather. There is the weather/waves from shore to 20 miles out. Then, there is the Gulf Stream's own conditions that can be totally different from inshore. Finally, there is the 'weather' on the otherside of the Gulf Stream. Yes, this one has a mind of its own too. Our area has 2 weather bouys to check on before heading out to sea. We tend to concentrate on the 20 nm bouy; however, tonight & early tomorrow morning, Jack will look closely at the 60nm bouy as well.

More to come.....

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