(Part of my Gone Fishing story)
Saturday, 16 August 1997
Day 29 at Sea
1700 hours SAMOAN TIME (Pacific Time minus four hours)
Location: Jarvis Island Area
Woke up yesterday morning to find that we had been traveling east all night, accompanied by the Capt. Christiano, and shadowed by a couple of Korean boats. Felt like we were in a foreign country with every action being watched by someone to make sure we didn’t do anything stupid.
Turns out the Adriatic Sea was close by, and we were joined by them- just like the Three Musketeers, we headed east with our shadows in tow. I guess the Koreans know who the real fishermen are, and who to follow to the fish. Follow they did, but only so far. Seemed that we stumbled into US waters around Jarvis Island – a place where Koreans apparently were unwelcome.
Soon it was just the three boats – whose captains were all related – steaming eastward into hopefully better territory. We did see one other Korean boat, but its boom was down, signifying its intent to just transit the waters, rather than fish.
All the boats made one late afternoon set, with us getting only about 30 tons, but things were definitely looking up.
Woke up this morning to see only three boats, peacefully drifting along in the same area. So far we have made three sets today – the first netting us about 50 tons, and the second, another 50 tons. Much better!
Yesterday, I finally realized that what I took to be an outside air temperature gauge in the pilothouse, was actually a water temperature gauge. The reason for the mistake was the high temperature it was showing – about 87 degrees Fahrenheit – which was close to the outside air temperature. It boggles my mind that the ocean can be this warm, but I guess it is. I am still waiting for a chance to go swimming, if I ever get one.
At our current rate, we won’t be doing much in the way of raft fishing – just school fishing – even though the moon is just about full. Apparently fishing is a very cyclical event; with one form of fishing that is good now will suck later. Right now, school fishing is on, raft fishing is off.
Not that I mind either way, as long as we are catching fish, but I was looking forward to afternoons spent just drifting along so that I could go swimming. In an ocean this warm. Unbelievable!