Fishing Trip, Without The Fish

Ahhh, the Better Life! It’s all a state of mind. I mean, here I am, in the most beautiful, pristine, idyllic setting one could wish for, and I STILL get caught up in a frantic flurry of the almighty Things To Do. On a typical day this week, for example, I started my day at 6:30 a.m. per usual. It quickly turned into a day of blog posting, social media responses, catching up on overnight email, starting laundry, walking the dog, hanging laundry to dry, mopping the floor, cleaning the bathroom, paying bills online, making lunch, visiting with my beau over lunch, drafting documents and conducting email flurry for local summer children’s camp that I help organize, switching laundry off the line to dry, phone calls from family, prepping dinner, etc., etc.

I still had hoped to catch an early shower (never knowing when the water might go off) and run one last errand before closing down for dinner and the evening. That hadn’t happened yet, and it was already after 4:00. Then, the phone rang.

It was my beau calling. Generally, he starts his day in the wee hours of the morn and wraps up official work late afternoon/early evening, spending the next few hours catching up on other work, running errands, enjoying happy hour (me too!) or whatever. That day, he announced he was going fishing! But it sounded like I was too busy to join him?

Hah! In all of two seconds, I reminded myself – WHY do you live here? To sit longer in front of a computer? What did you leave your former life for? To continue working too much at the expense of missing out on living life? NO, to all of that. YES, to let’s go fishing!

I grabbed my sunglasses, visor, cold drinks and hit the road in my golf cart towards the dock. The next hour and a half was absolutely worth it. We didn’t catch a single fish, but I had a great and relaxing end of day!

Wanna experience it again with me?

First, we pull out from the dock, easing through the shallow and crystal clear channel area.

We cruise by the government dock, where people were cleaning fish at the bench, admiring one of the local sailboats floating and ready for an upcoming regatta, and generally unwinding from the day together.

Nearing the sailboat (more on these boats and the regatta soon) and the picturesque church.

Having completed our shoreline stroll, we zoom away from the island. Heading north for a few miles, we stay on the western, protected, calmer side.

Waverunners and water toys are common during the busy tourist season. Locals aren’t thrilled about them buzzing about, but – as we say around here – what it is, is what it is.

Plentiful boats in the area this time of year.

Look at this big momma anchored far out. At a distance, guessing it’s 240+ feet, one big cruising yacht! We’re seeing more of these this season. Speculation is that the super-wealthy, who would normally cruise to Europe and the Mediterranean are saving on fuel costs by staying more local in the Caribbean!

Zipping along through the numerous little cays dotting the area.

One of many deserted beaches popping out of the rock by the sea, with soft, white sand.

Approaching the “cut” over to the deep, rougher “ocean side” on the eastern side of the island chain.

About to go through the cut. Some days, it can look deceptively calm, but still surprise you, so a good captain is always alert. One day, going through this same cut on a calm, clear day, we were suddenly swamped by a 15+ foot wave. Fortunately, nobody was hurt (more than some pretty severe bangs) or thrown overboard. I was holding onto a rail with both hands and crouched low, just focused on staying with the boat. Definitely the roughest seas I’d been in. Scary. So glad an experienced captain was handling the boat!

Crossing the cut, waves slap and splash, but it is relatively uneventful as we venture into deeper, ocean waters. We’ve gone from clear, pale blue and turquoise green waters into deeper royal blue waters, which will turn to navy blue as we head out even deeper.

Heading east, away from land into nothingness as the sun sparkles and slowly lowers itself for the day.

At this point, we’re about a mile from land and in 1,000+ feet of water.

Now the fun kicks into a new level! My beau sets two reels with bait (ballyhoo) and casts them into the water before resting them on either side of the boat’s stern. We’re fishing for dolphin, as in mahi-mahi, not Flipper. I was at the wheel and throttle at this point, which is why you are not graced with pictures of the line-baiting, etc. 🙂

We troll along for an hour, heading another mile out with almost nothing in sight except a distant peek of land, a sprinkle of boats in the distance and an occasional passing plane. As we putter along, I breathe easy, cold drink in hand, munching on cashews, Best of the Eagles playing on the boat’s stereo, sun warming the soul. My beau, when he is not regaling clients and friends with entertaining stories, is a man of few words, and we sit in comfortable silence, taking in the peace of Mother Ocean together.

Eventually, we head south, towards a cut closer to home. We pull in the empty reels. Although we didn’t catch anything, that is secondary to the bliss of getting out on the water. Fish aren’t running quite yet, but we don’t care this day!

We dock the boat, where I mange to tie a hitch that is deemed “perfect,” and we put the boat away. I head home and fix dinner while the sun finishes setting off the back deck. Less than two hours ago, I was feeling the press of the day. Now, I am at peace.

I hope you can find little bits of that in your day, too. Have a great weekend!

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