A Mate’s Life

It’s 3:15 AM when the first alarm goes off. The coffee has been brewed and it’s time to start his day. My husband, Andy, is a mate on a charter boat and his day starts early and ends late. 

By 4:00 AM he is at the boat preparing for a day in the Gulf Stream and catering to the eager fishermen and women who charter the famed Sportfishing vessel named “Release.” His day aboard the boat starts with rigging bait, preparing tackle and repairing anything that needs fixed after the previous day offshore. By 5:30AM the charter clients are arriving and it’s time to start prepping them for what they can expect in a day offshore fishing. Capt. Rom arrives around 6AM to guide the vessel offshore.

The fun really begins 25 miles offshore once they reach the Gulf Stream. Depending on the time of year, they are in search of Mahi-Mahi (also known as dolphin),  Wahoo, Tuna, bottom fish and any sort of billfish. Both Capt. Rom and Andy are suckers for a good Marlin bite, so they are often in search of a big blue one. 

Once offshore Andy gets out the fishing rods, prepares the riggers, and gets the bait ready for a bite. When they find a school of Mahi, it’s game on and it is complete madness on the boat. Keeping the lines from being tangled, bailing dolphin and replacing bait is a constant battle when the bite is on. The game to be played when fishing for Tuna is ‘Keep Away.’ Catching Tuna and keeping them from being eaten by sharks that is. The fight for a tuna is a fun one, battling both the strength of the fish and the sharks. All the while, having Andy guide you through the process of fighting the fish and bringing it successfully onboard. 

By 3:30 PM the journey back to the dock begins. Once arriving at the dock, the day of a mate is anything but over. Now is the time to unload the fish onto the dock to the awaiting crowd. Cleaning up the boat, getting fuel, putting away fishing rods, storing and getting bait for the next day, and icing up the boat are just a few of the tasks that still need to be completed. Around 7:00 PM Andy arrives home for a shower, dinner and to head to bed to get a nights rest only to head back out to the Gulf Stream the next day. If there are clients that want to go fishing, you better believe Release is heading offshore.

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