Nothing like gin on a hot day whose date you might not even know on the backside of Hotel D’Urville with a nice breeze and showered, damp hair. I find when you are on the road for so long, the small pleasures surrounding proper bathing are intensified. Today I trimmed my nails and shaved my legs. Proper. And it’s not because I’m not having a ball enjoying this trip, this girl has just been busy. That little bath washed off the salt water after a day on the Charlotte Sound in a sturdy fishing boat.

The weather was glorious and the water fine. Our boat was so sweet – just perfect – and not too fussy. And for a moment, it made me want one. We were treated to a brilliant sunrise – the light glowed up the hillside then hid on our hour-long taxi into our spot. Cormorants and gulls chased the boat and sped alongside us. Around the point, the water churned and we bounced and surfed the floor of the back of the boat. I loved it. Once there, we parked out off the coast. I had planned to write – I had mentioned that this was to be my “creativity cruise” and wanted to use the time to draw, paint, read and write. But, as fate stepped in, I was promptly handed a double hooked line, baited with chunks of fish and that was that… I would fish with the boys.

I hooked up first, and I have to say I was proud to pull out a respectable snapper. This trip has been well nourished by this delicious, succulent fish. And here it was, flipping and jerking, quite alive in front of me. It ‘s really a gorgeous fish–silver with robin’s egg blue specs sprinkled across both sides. We would keep this one–it met all requirements. I promptly caught another and the same end applied.

On and on it went like this–until the snapper moved out and the blue cod moved in. They were thicker but smaller and we sent most all back into the blue-green water, which then drew in the Barracudas. They snaked and writhed around our little fish as we reeled them out, entertaining themselves. It was amazing how they toyed with us.

The sun was hot and I could have spent all day at the breezy water spot with the dramatic mountains behind us. I was stunned when the captain said “Ok, going to need to pull up in a few.” Hours had gone by… Amazing.

I did manage to dash off a few drawings but I didn’t need them. The sea scene will stay forever seared in my mind. And back home we sped, on top of the waves; passing sailboats heading out, chasing their own catch.

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