Another quick, smooth turn that was delayed for about a half hour from what ended up being a rather humorous event worthy of telling. While loading equipment in the standard "bucket brigade" formation one slippery rod fell from the center of a bundle at the exact wrong moment while being passed over the rail. With the miserable, unmistakable 'plunk' that always accompanies such mishaps the rod made a quick trip to the bottom ten feet beneath the hull - so we thought. After loading the remainder of angler's gear the entire crew set to the task of recovering the dumped rod dragging the bottom with jigs and a variety of quickly improvised grapples. Five minutes, ten minutes, finally, after fifteen minutes of fruitless dragging, it was obvious the bay was not going to give up it's new treasure so easily. The next step of diving to the bottom for a visual survey was yielded to Captain Toussaint.
So Randy, who is a accomplished diver in every respect, rakes the bottom in every direction for about twenty minutes. Unbelievably the rod is nowhere to be found. Our suspicion was that Bobo (our friendly moniker for any number of local sea lions) had taken the rod to do whatever with, or that it had simply sank deep in the harbor muck beyond our ability to recover. Either way the fact that it was gone was hard to believe; none of our theories or explanations were tasteful to accept or any consolation. The rod was gone and that was that - the show must go on.
The engines were fired, lines were cast off, and we were on our way to go fishing despite the irksome fact that we couldn't make good on such a menial challenge. We had more rods; no one was to go without, but, at the very least, our pride was slightly stung by being unable to create a heroic moment. Okay, that may be taking it a little far, but all of you reading certainly get the picture. At the very least we were all a little deflated by the bummer of losing a good rod to such ridiculous circumstances. Then, just after we begin moving forward, the missing rod pops out from beneath the boat - it was floating the whole time, trapped against the hull! I guess no one thought about looking up for something that supposedly sank. Go figure.
Anyway the successful ending to this comical, mini dockside saga immediately set us back on track steaming from the harbor in triumph on a southerly heading to points beyond. Six days to get the job done, an encouraging set of options, at least three days of fine working weather in the forecast, and every other favorable factor we can muster are fueling strong optimism for our present position; reports, remarks, and a few photos will document our progress. On a final note I want to mention our disappointment that Charter Master Mike Ross, who has been a Royal Star pillar over the past fifteen years, couldn't make this year's voyage. We know how much Mike looks forward to his annual six day, and how much he loves to fish, so we'll catch a few for him and hope to share the rail again sooner than later. Here we go.