“Don’t worry about what the world wants from you, worry about what makes you come more alive. Because what the world really needs are people more alive.”
— Lawrence LeShan
Forget CNN and Fox News, they are commentaries and rarely helpful news. They actually were shaped in 1995 by a white Ford Bronco driving down an L.A. Freeway captivating America with a National Inquire like story of the fall of a famous person. It was at that moment that TV producers realized that sensationalizing news and catastrophizing news increased ratings. For news producers to keep their jobs today, they must over stimulate the senses of viewers to keep ratings maximized. Y2K, Fiscal Cliff, Government Shutdown, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Ebola Pandemic fears have hijacked the American landscape just to name a few.
Let me tell you where the real news can be had: In the bar at the Highbourne Marina Exumas Bahamas!
Yes, you read it right. It was there that a few days ago that a captain on a sport fishing boat told Dennis, Susie, Lee and myself the news.
“The mahi are biting. Go out the south cut and head north along the 300 foot line. As you approach the Allen’s Cay Cut, the mahi are feeding there.”
Well, the next day we headed out to the tune of “Gilligan’s Island.” The most unlikely and poorly skilled fishing expedition since the Three Stooges. Let me set the scene. Lee was at the camera, Joe at the wheel, Dennis overseeing the two lines out off the stern and Susie with the gaff in hand. The seas were four to five feet out of the southwest, so I zig zagged along the 300 foot line, so that no one chummed their breakfast!
In the space of what seemed like a 100 yards the depths went from 50 feet to over 1,000 feet and the depth sounders stopped reading. As we held on for dear life, I tacked back and forth to stay close to the 300 foot line and avoid taking the seas on our beam for too long. Just then the mahi hit the line. Screams went up, the crew staggered into position, the dogs skated across the fiberglass flybridge deck in terror and the line ran off the reel at breakneck speed. Dennis headed to the stern and began reeling in as Susie grabbed the gaff. Lee was ready with the camera as Joe stopped the forward progress of the boat yet tried to keep us headed into the seas.
Pictures of the movie, “The Perfect Storm” began to play in our heads. As the mahi came closer, Dennis saw we had two mahi somehow on the same line! All of a sudden, the mahi began tag teaming running and went toward the bow of the boat. Dennis raced up the side deck trying to get the fishing pole and line over the burgee flag pole on the bow sprint. The seas tossed Mud Puddle Rose, the crew and the dogs about. Susie could not reach the mahi with the gaff, Lee slammed against the fore stay and fell as Dennis raced around the boat doing his best “Take Marmaduke for a walk” comic strip. Joe lifted Lee up to her feet and left the wheel to her as he headed down to help Dennis. Joe with the gaff and Dennis with two mahi on the line now resembled Laurel and Hardy. As the mahi ran again and the boat was abeam to the waves rocking 35 degrees side to side, we all held on for dear life.
Again the mahi approached the stern and Dennis reeled them in and again they ran before Joe could gaff them. Somehow at the point the Keystone Cops came to mind as the mahi swam around the boat with Dennis chasing them with the fishing pole and Joe chasing Dennis with the gaff raised attempting to snag one as they passed by. The thought of losing both of them was too much for the “Old Men and Sea” to bear. Joe climbed down on the swim platform as the waves swept over it and gaff swinging wildly held on to the rail with the other hand. Finally one of the mahi got close enough for Joe to gaff one. But with one hand on the rail and the other on the gaff with a writhing mahi, Joe was stuck.
Dennis handed Susie the pole to hold, and he and Joe pulled one mahi over the hand rail onto the deck. The mahi slopped around like a Mexican Jumping Bean on steroids with the line wrapped around him and no hook in his mouth! Dennis quickly handed the gaff back down to Joe. Dennis reeled the second mahi closer and this one was quickly gaffed and hauled up over the rail to join his partner. Now we had two wildly flapping on deck and the boat was still tossing madly abeam on the ocean seas. Mahi blood was covering the decks making them slippery and the dogs up on the flybridge slid from side to side with their claws futilely attempting to gain traction on the deck. Joe quickly poured alcohol in the gills to still the prizes and went back to the helm to head Mud Puddle Rose into the seas.
Returning to calm waters to clean the fish, relax our nerves and exhausted muscles was our only goal at this point. Upon anchoring in the lee of Highbourne Cay, Dennis and Joe drank a beer & cleaned and filleted the fish. Both were 4 feet long and provide at least 30 more filets. Susie and Lee served Joe’s Rum Blasters on the flybridge once the fillets were in the freezer less 4 for dinner. The dogs retracted their claws and climbed on laps and everyone raised a glass to the captain who provide the news that really counted at the bar.
How is that for breaking news?