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First Catch

November 20, 2018


Although coming through the Fort Pierce bridge had been a snap at low tide, we realized that when we left in the morning, the tide would be again be high. The bridge is supposed to provide 65 feet of clearance at low water, but we knew better. We had a filling breakfast of scrambled eggs with scallions and smoked salmon, and decided to wait until 08:30 to leave the dock, and to venture out slowly. Sure enough, the tide board showed clearance at just past 63 feet; we needed to wait a while for the tide to ebb.  At 09:30, we could detect a very slight change in the tide board. By 10 am we decided to go for it, and passed under without incident and headed for the ocean.  


The sea was nearly flat, with light winds out of the south, so we motored our way down the coast to West Palm Beach. A few dolphins swam alongside us. Christoph put out a fishing line on the pole mounted on the aft deck rail. The last time we were in these south Florida waters, bringing Delfina north for the very first time, we had caught a large blackfin tuna. Sure enough, we caught a foot long bonita within a half hour. We didn’t have to gaffe this iridescent beauty. I wrapped it in a towel, and Christoph finished it off with a bang to its head, using the winch handle. I preferred the method of pouring rum into the  gills, which seems more humane. I thanked the fish for giving up its life so we could have sushi for our supper.


We anchored across from the mega yachts of Rybovitch Yacht club. A little way down Flagler Drive, the Palm Beach Sailing Club is a modest, but welcoming volunteer club, that offers reciprocal privileges for members of other clubs: anchored vessels can tie up at their dinghy dock and use the club facilities for $16 a day.


Our friends Wayne and Sally had just returned from a demonstration against President Trump, who was set to arrive at Mar-A-Lago this evening for the holiday. Wayne is an expert fisherman, professional sail instructor and boat captain. When we first bought Delfina, Wayne came with us on the sea trial, and joined us for a shakedown cruise to Miami. They were disappointed to see as many pro- as anti- Trump supporters. This is Florida, after all, where Gillum just conceded race for governor to DeSantis.


We ferried them out to Delfina in our dinghy and Wayne  showed us how to fillet the bonita for sashimi, making a deep cut behind the gills; running the knife along the entire length of the body, beneath the skin, then cutting away the oily dark spots.  We cooked up some spaghetti and added sautéed shrimp, and Christoph’s signature marinara, brought from home, for a grand feast. We returned our friends to shore with a freezer bag full of food that we asked them to please freeze for us, since our freezer had stopped working.

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