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catching a fish
Image by greg frucci via Flickr


We all need sustenance. We who have lived in our homes alone can prepare our meals for ourselves in a relatively easy manner. We can think of the preparation as a joy…or we can think of the preparation as a chore…either way, food is not something we think of as being complex unless we make it that way. Most of my life…and maybe your life is similar…I would come home from work or play and fix myself a sandwich, cook some nachos or spend hours joyfully preparing a wonderful meal like Risotto for myself and/or others. I may stop by the Grocery Store on the way home to purchase needed ingredients or I may have what I need in the fridge.

At sea…alone…everything changes from what was considered by us the norm. I packed the Cuddy with can goods, spices, quick snacks like Power Bars supplied by Nestle, water and Mountain Dew supplied by Pepsi, bread, vitamins, and protein mix. Eating took on a new meaning for me while I crossed over to Bermuda and even while I was anchored up in St. Georges Harbor, Bermuda.

Most of the time crossing, I stuffed can goods like Ravioli or pinnaple chunks in different areas of the cockpit so that I could have quick access to food while I was at the helm and not on autopilot. Usually, in the morning hours, I would engage the autopilot and descend into the cabin for a meal of shaken protein mix/vitamins and resupply the cockpit with more snacks, water and can goods.

The first day at sea, I stayed at the helm until after midnight, enjoying the excitement of what I was embarking upon. From time to time, I would engage the autopilot, tether myself to the jack-lines and go forward to check lines or start a remote camera…for the most part though, I was chilling at the helm. When hungry, I would eat can goods…and I forgot how much I love Ravioli from a can…brought back memories from childhood!

The second day at sea, I had one of the best sashimi meals I have ever had. Dave Christopher, the Dock Master at Masonboro Yacht Club, set me up with a fantastic hand line rig using a cedar plug. He said to me the day before I left, “Frucci, you tie this off to one of your stern cleats, toss it overboard and within fifteen minutes, you’ll have a Mahi!”. So, I tested his prediction. That morning of the second day was a calm one. The winds of the night before of ten to fifteen knots had calmed to less than ten knots with small swells and a sunny day. I was hungry and did not want can goods, so I tossed over the hand line Dave made for me. He was right, withing fifteen minutes, I saw the line jerking. I turned on one of the GoPro remote cameras and pulled in a small Mahi.

Not having anyway to cook didn’t matter to me at all…that would have been too much trouble at sea for one person anyway…and I love raw fish. A while later, I cut the Mahi up and had the best sashimi I have tasted in my life…why muck a good tasting fish up with lemon or anything else? The way Nature prepares food for us is just fine with me.

While anchored up in Bermuda, I did the same thing from time to time only with a rod and reel…the way my Father taught me. Food was everywhere…all around me…all I had to do was exert a little effort and get it.

A lesson learned about Life. A thing which seems vast, lifeless and lacking activity on the surface is merely a mask of what lies beneath. Once we dig into something…a change occurs…a newness can be found. The path taken there beckons a return through the wonder of discovery…and I will.

Thank you Dave Christopher for teaching me a similar thing my Father taught me. One more tool added to the box of survival.

July 16, 2011…Wilmington, NC

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