Don't worry, be happy
No rest for the weary! We were up at 5:30 today so we could leave by 6:30. We had chartered a four hour fishing trip with Pelagic Sportfishing for the six of us. This was a new experience for most of us, and we were all (well, mostly all) a bit excited.
The boat was a very clean, 60-foot vessel with two motors, both over 1000 hp. As we moved through the channel and out into the sound things went quite smoothly. Then we hit the wide open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and everything started rocking! It was a fairly windy day so the water was choppy, and the boat listed back and forth over the 3-5 foot waves.
The captain must have looked at us, and decided we all looked like the types (eh-hem...or age) that would like 70s and 80s music. We enjoyed listening to classics like "Delta Dawn" and "Come Saturday Morning," and we really got into the vacation mood with "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
The captain sat up above, driving the boat, while the first mate and another young guy in training set up our lines. They propped 4 or 5 poles up along the sides and top of the boat with two different types of lines and bait, as we trolled (at a pretty fast clip) through the waters. We caught several Spanish Mackerel this way, however only two were large enough to keep. The first one was caught by Tom, and later Brian added another.
After trolling for quite awhile, we stopped over some artificial reefs (old shipwrecks, cargo boxes, train cars, airplanes, etc. that have been dumped into the ocean and create habitats for fish offshore). We were shown how to drop our lines straight down until they touched the bottom, and how to jiggle the lines to lure the fish in. This technique for catching flounder resulted in some near-catches for Tom and me (we both had something on our lines that got away). Gord and Annie each caught a small cobia, not big enough to keep, but fun to catch nonetheless. And Brian, the most experienced fisherman among us, was able to pull in two flounders, one of which was big enough to keep. Because of the rough waters, we were only able to have two lines in the water at once, which was a bit disappointing, as more lines might have meant better chances of catching fish.
All in all, it was a relaxing and interesting, albeit pretty slow, morning of fishing. We ended the day with only three keepers. The rocking motion along with the hot sun was a bit much for some of us. Jill felt quite sick for a little while, despite taking dramamine before we left. We all felt pretty wiped out after our action-packed morning, so we just lounged around the pool and beach house in the afternoon sun.
Carl and Wendy, the 4th couple of our Beta 4 Gang, arrived in the mid afternoon, after a couple long days of driving. We could finally say, "the gang's all here!" as we greeted them in what has become an almost traditional Beta 4 "hug line." We all spent some time catching up on what's been happening in each others' lives since the last time we were together.
In the evening, the eight of us gathered together around our dinner table. Brian and Gord had put together another amazing dinner meal, including sous vide beef tenderloin, green beans, roasted cabbage, and salad greens. It was healthy and delicious! After dinner, several of us took walks on the beach before turning in early.