This Epic was originally going to be only about 50 lines or so, but it seemed to develop a mind of its own
and dictated its own terms and just grew and grew.
It got bogged down for quite a while about 3/4 of the way through, but then away it went again.
It's based on a real life trip that my wife, Dot and I took in 2000 on the fishing charter boat, Mahi Mahi, operating out of Coral Bay,
one of the best kept secrets on our coastline. (probably because itís a long way from anywhere)
The Fishing Trip
I thought that I would like to do
a bit of fishing, catch a few.
Bigger stuff than off the beach.
Without a boat, they're out of reach.
So off I go to book a spot,
book one too for wife (named Dot)
on Charter boat called Mahi 2.
The booking man said what to do.
"Be on the beach at seven thirty,
wear old clothes, you might get dirty.
Take your lunch , a drink or three,
sunnies, camera; and think of me,
slaving here till day is done
while you and Dot are having fun"
And so next day, an hour past dawn
we're on the beach; warm clothes adorn
our bodies, for it's rather cool
and comfort is the golden rule.
With six more hopefuls, Pete and Joe,
Fred and Victor, Sam and Flo.
Into dinghy, out to boat,
take sea sickness antidote.
For though the weather looks quite fine
at sea it could be borderline.
Then skipper Bernie tells us where
the liferafts are, "and over there
there's tea and coffee, help yourself.
Put your cups back on the shelf."
Then Bernie goes up to the bridge.
We put our lunches in the fridge.
Its motors start, the anchor's lifting.
Deckie Ivan's head down, sifting
through a box of frozen bait.
He tells us fishing has been great
the last few days, they've caught a lot.
Far more than all the others got.
By now we've left the shore behind,
we're trolling lures, and hope to find
a mackerel of the Spanish sort,
perhaps a tuna might be caught.
Or maybe, if we make a wish,
might even catch a sailfish
Weather's fine, warmed up a bit.
As yet no fish, and we just sit
and talk of other times and places.
Put some sunscreen on our faces.
A reel screams, Fish on the hook.
Bernie turns and takes a look.
"Ladies first", he points to Dot,
"take the chair and in the slot
thatís on your belt, the rod end fits.
Now take the weight, see how it sits.
Lift the rod, then lower and wind.
Its easier like that you'll find.
Just wind him in, and take it slow
and steady. That's the way to go."
Fifteen minutes now have passed.
Dots winding still, but not as fast
as at the start. Her arms and back
are aching but she lets no slack
get in the line 'tween fish and her.
We see him now, but still a blur.
He tries to have a final run.
Dot holds him back, his strength is done.
With gaff in hand, Ivan's ready,
"Bring him in and hold him steady".
Three minutes more, Dot's got her wish.
He's on the deck, a mighty fish,
four foot of tuna, grey and sleek.
Dot's got the shakes, her knees are weak
there are a further ten verses in this poem
Read it all in "Sun, Sand and Saltwater"
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