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Except For The Pukiness, It Was a Pretty Stellar Day.
I know, I know.

Some people have already given me shit in the good ol' guestbook.

So yeah, I caught some fish at the tournament Thursday. Big fish. Strong fish. I still have muscles that are sore.

I met J at her house and we drove over together. Early. Too damn early.

I caught the first sailfish. It's so crazy out there, guys. You spend all this time rocking and staring at the water and eating pretzels and waiting. Then a fish bites the bait and all of a sudden it's total fucking pandemonium.

The captain and the mate just yell and yell and yell. Then, once it's over, they apologize and apologize. You can't take it personally.

Early in the day, I fought my very first sailfish, and I caught it. I can't describe the feeling of seeing a fish longer than you jump out of the water in the distance, and then realize that the gorgeous thing is attached to you, and you're about to pull him in. (I should mention we released the sailfish, by the way.) After, my hands were so tired it was difficult to grip my water bottle. My throat was parched. I'd swallowed thunderclouds of diesel exhaust.

The fumes, combined with the boat motion, made me a little sick. I am still in debt to my mate for his advice to lay on my stomach... the initially-nauseating rocking of the boat lulled me to sleep. I napped most of the day, jumping up occasionally whenever it sounded like we'd gotten a bite. E said my ability to go from a sound sleep to frantic action in a split second would make me a natural in a foxhole. I hope I never find out if that's true.

J caught one in the early afternoon. One for each. It was perfect.

The tourament ended at 4. At 3:30, we drove through a school of mahi-mahi. Talk about insane... J and I each had one hooked. J pulled hers in, and the mate immediately lost it. It flopped all over the place, and he couldn't get it into the cooler. In the meantime, I'm struggling with MY fish and getting covered in blood. It was like Lord of the Flies all of a sudden.

So at the last minute, J pulled in 3 while I fought one big one. We ate them last night.

Neal and I went to J and E's last night to watch the video E took of the tournament. Highlights:

*Watching my sailfish jump. Damn, it was cool.

*Seeing me emerge from my nap onto the deck in the middle of the mahi-mahi fiasco looking utterly confused, then shrugging my shoulders and grabbing a pole.

*The sheer joy of J after she landed her sailfish.

*E yelling at me to reel in 2 poles. The mate jumping in front of me and saying, "NO!" Eric apologizing, as it became obvious there were way too many captains on that ship.

*The huge sea turtle I missed while I was napping.

*You face the back of the boat the whole time. So there I am with a mahi-mahi hooked, and the captain is yelling, "Go to the back of the boat, Jamie! The back of the boat!" And in my state of confusion, I'm backing up. To the front of the boat. "Back! Back!" I finally got it when Eric yelled, "Where the engines are!" Ooooh. Gotcha.

If any of you ever get the opportunity to ride from a few miles out in the ocean back to shore while sitting in a tuna tower, take it. I highly recommend it.

Oh, and we came in 8th out of 75 boats. Not bad for my first tournament, huh?

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