I’m pretty spoiled when it comes to fishing. My childhood fishing often included being tired, hungry, cold and needing to go to the bathroom (the bucket was fine for the boys). My one rule is I have to be warm. I love our boat, the Joy Sea. I think we have the best setup for fishing with all of the comforts to make for a great time.
My typical day on the water begins with Gary getting up and making coffee. He’s always been an early riser, so I sleep in, and he starts to fish. Sometimes I have to help with the anchor and then it’s back to bed. If he gets two bites at the same time, I’ll get up and help. We had one morning where he yelled for help and we caught two nice white sea bass.
We go to bed earlier on the boat, so I get up a little earlier too, grab a cup of coffee and start cooking breakfast. Gary will put my fishing pole out for me and call me if I get a bite. I’ve turned off the stove numerous times to help gaff a fish or pull in a big one. Fishing trumps cooking. I like fixing breakfast because cooking always warms the boat up. Most of the time it’s warm inside the salon, but a little flame takes the edge off.
We’ve been out in November when it was warm enough to sit around in a swimsuit all day and had summer days where I might wear a hoodie all day. If it’s a cold day, I’ll stay inside until it warms up. With the flybridge enclosed it will get nice and warm as long as the sun is shining. It’s like a little sunroom. Gary doesn’t mind the wind, but I’ll set my pole and go up and sit out of the wind. After reading the book Angela’s Ashes I refer to the main deck as Ireland when it’s cold and the flybridge as Italy.
I always bring a boat on the boat and when things are slow I enjoy my book. Life doesn’t get much better than sitting on the boat on a warm summer day, catching fish, enjoying a drink and soaking up the scenery. We turn the music up and chill. Even something as mundane as washing the dishes is great when you look out the window and watch the island scenery go by. My hands in dish water, and I’m thinking, “am I lucky, or what?”
There’ve been times when the wind and waves made it easier to tuck into a small cove anchor and take it easy. I really like Willows and one of the Twin coves for snorkeling. Going into shore with the dingy or the kayak is always an adventure and walking beaches that people are rarely on is always cool. You never know what you’ll find.
Then there’s being immersed nature. There’s nothing better than seeing a pod of dolphins, seals, swarms of birds dive bombing into boils of bait fish, stingrays, crabs, squid, starfish, sharks and all kinds of things I can’t identify. Gorgeous sunsets and ecosystems that are totally unique to the island. (The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 plant and animal species, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world.) The sun sparkling on the water like a million diamonds and calm fog where the horizon and the water look so similar you feel sensory depravation like the twilight zone.
I love watching waves crash into the shore, sea spray and blowholes; the sound of crashing waves and barking seals. We’ve had a baby seal sleep on our swim step and the not so great experience of having adult seals that steal the bait or even worse your catch (and then he practically laughed at us as he ate it.)
Late in the afternoon we find a good place to anchor and Gary cleans fish, while I fix dinner. Gary helps with dinner a lot of the time too. He’s really good at frying up the fish breaded with panko. We play scrabble or a few card games. Now and then we’ll watch a movie or see if we can pick up the news from the mainland. When you get far away from the mainland you can see the stars and sometimes we’ll take a blanket out and watch the stars or we turn on the underwater lights and try to gig some squid for bait. Sometimes the light will bring up all kinds of things that glow. Finally it’s time for bed and we turn in. Tomorrow’s another day in a Joy Sea life.