A Day in the Life

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By Reid Henninger

Don’t let the serenity of the pics fool you. This shit ain’t a Sandals getaway. Recall Ghostbusters 2? The river of slime in the sewer? It’s that, with bootcamp. 

Being a chef is tough. Being a good chef is hard as hell. Being a fisherman requires tapping into a darker force. It’s dark and hell is hot. 

As you rip fish out of the ocean the hard way, one and two at a time, 700 feet between you and the scene of the crime, your pile of victims violently seize, spraying you with blood, and nearly always in your squinting eyes. If you’re quick enough, you transfer from reel to line faster than the barracuda stalking your bounty beneath the boat, ready to chainsaw through your catch in an instant. You rip their entrails out by the hundreds on a swaying vessel that pays no mind to your knife skills. Hopefully you were trained on a tilt-a-whirl. 

Sometimes a pod of dolphins ride the white caps next to you, smiling and coy about your fishing abilities. And sometimes the breeze briefly changes direction..it’s origin the sweetest place on Earth..it’s confederate jasmine, cotton candy, sand sculptures, and malt vinegar French fries. Sometimes you get to watch nature documentaries with a couple guys you just went to war with, and you don’t say shit until gravity pulls on your eyelids with great force. 

Sometimes your restless corpse, put down by aggressive pot smoking, rolls back and forth between a smelly bunk wall and a hard place, and the act of sleeping is all but a dream. You rise with the sun, breakfast a handful of aspirin. A sinister Detroit diesel fires up, growling and chugging since 88. A hodgepodge of two-by-fours, chipping caulk and shedding fiberglass cradle it as a vessel. Any faster than 25 knots and she’ll break apart like the Challenger, and you’re alone in the great blue desert. 

Seasick, landsick, new level constipation. A real GI Joe. It’s worth it when you pull 20 entrees out of the water through shear will, and your mission comes into focus. 

Nothing but shades of cobalt and white to the horizon, and boiled eggs dressed in seawater for lunch, you may become a bit existential. You get paid to catch fucking fish.