Yesterday I told you about part one of my birthday adventures. I’d lost a nice fish, learned a bit about running the boat, and then we were approached by the United States Coast Guard Patrol boat.
My husband is accustomed to this procedure, but I’ll admit I was a little intimidated. They asked a lot of questions about the boat, checked the registration, and asked for my husband’s identification. They didn’t actually come on board, since it’s a small boat, but the announcement “Your vessel is being boarded by the United States Coast Guard” was about as comfortable to me as presenting my passport in strange country for the first time.
I later learned that with the charter fishing boats, the inspection takes about one hour because the checklist is much more intensive than with a pleasure craft. I wonder how the clients, who are paying big bucks to go fishing, feel about this. If they complain and get a refund, the charter captain is out a lot of money and with fuel prices, there isn’t a lot of profit in charter fishing anyway. They say they’ll only get you once per season, but they won’t do inspections at the dock.
But that’s another rant. We passed inspection with ONE exception. Since the boat has an actual gas tank in the hull instead of portable red tanks, we were supposed to have a marine certified fire extinguisher on board. It was labeled as a “terminatable offence“. We were about to be escorted back to the harbor. By the way, that was their terminology, not mine. I love it when the government makes up words.
The little boat is a little overpowered and there is no speed limit on the water. By the time they caught up with us, we had a fire extinguisher AND a full tank of gas. Well, kind of. They didn’t follow us all the way back because they decided to check another boat just leaving. I’ve got to admit, leading them on a high speed chase was fun!
So… back to the fishing grounds we go. On the way, I saw humpback whales, seals and when we started fishing a porpoise came really close to the boat! I saw his eyes and his “smile”.
It wasn’t long before the downrigger line started screaming again. My husband says “You’ve got a really big fish on there!” I say, “No, I don’t, I have that seal over there!” The seal I pointed to took a quick dive, stripping a hundred yards of line from my reel, then pops up, let’s out a squeal, and shows me a flasher hanging from his chin.
I let the professional take over while I handled the boat. Even though we were in neutral the boat wanted to drift a little too close to the rocks. My sweetie managed to get the flasher back but I have a feeling that seal will not be biting any more herring.
After all that excitement, we decided to head home. Chris dropped me off at Tee Harbor and I walked home while he took the boat back to Auke Bay and drove. By the time he made it home, I was showered and changed and even had on makeup, ready to go out to dinner since I blew my chance at fresh King Salmon. We had a great time, and on the way home, I took this photo with my new i-phone.