The best day on a fishing boat includes sunshine, flat calm seas, and abundant fish. We were so lucky to experience one of those glorious days this time around. So glorious that we had the deck freezers full by 3PM. In all my years of fishing (a total of 8), this was a first. With that much daylight left, we quickly made our way to the nearest beach. Hallelujah! Everyone loves a beach excursion.
This one was particularly beautiful with emerald green, crystal clear waters, fine, white sand and incredible rock formations. It was simply amazing, almost tropical, and a major bonus with room to walk more than 50 steps in a row! As soon as Rex’s feet hit the beach, he took off at full speed, head down, intent on pushing his dump truck, and rammed right smack into a big rock. Ouch. Poor little tyke. Luckily, the damage was minor and quickly forgotten with the immensity of the beach ahead.
Maximus and I lost no time surveying the beach in search of lost treasures. To find a glass float or a pirate’s chest brimming with gold coins would be delightful. While I found neither of these prizes on this occasion, I didn’t go away empty handed. There, amongst the beach logs, I spied a white chest, which turned out to be a brand-new Yeti cooler. Score! I also found a big barrel that would make an excellent raincatcher. The captain capped me at the cooler and rain barrel for beach treasures, reminding me that space is limited on a fishing boat, and truth be told, I tend to collect more than I need or know what to do with. Regretfully, I left everything else behind, but Maximus scooped up a patch kit for what we thought was a Zodiac. As our Zodiac had sprung a tiny hole or two, the rubber patch kit was a fortuitous find.
When it was time to head back to the boat, laden with treasures, we encountered some intimidating waves. No one came prepared to wade beyond knee-length rain boots and we all initially balked at the idea of soaking our legs and feet. It was a waiting game, looking for the right window in between swells to push the boat through and beyond the wave crash zone. In the end, Maximus being Maximus, took one for the team and walked us into the launch zone and off we went, wet Maximus legs and all. No one was entirely happy at that moment and just as we were cresting a wave followed by a vigorous splash to the bow (aka my face!), Rex yelled: “it’s SO wet” and we all burst out laughing. Nothing like comic relief to cure the grumps.
Our next beach outing came a week later on “glass float beach,” a true west coast beach, accessed only through a 45-minute “trail” up and over a boggy hillside. Bring it on. My body craved movement and even though hiking in fishing boots and rain gear is not the most comfortable, I was all for it… especially when a wild, west coast beach lay at the end of it. Again, upon arrival, our eyes searched for treasures. Maximus was the winner this time around with a brand-new 3-piece luggage set lost off a container ship on its way to the Bentley store and a crazy, inflatable floating dock device that only the very wealthy with big yachts would know about.
As luck would have it, the rubber patch kit picked up on the beach 100 miles away was exact match for this inflatable floating dock. What were the odds? Awkward and somewhat heavy, with determination (and some help from the captain), Maximus muscled both the luggage set AND the inflatable floating dock back up and over the hillside. No prize left behind.
Meanwhile, Rex was quite content to run around with his digger, exploring the incredible tide pools, feeding muscles to the sea anemones, and collecting the net floats, which Captain Dad said could be made into boats. A total of 14 floats made it back to the Tantrum (thank you suitcase!), which at the time seemed excessive, but in the end came in quite handy when it came to the toy-making workshop with mom back on the Tantrum. A sharp serrated knife, a drill, and some screws and we have ourselves our very own fleet of bath toys, including a tug boat, two trollers, a container ship and, my favorite, a float plane.
We also found a baseball bat that day, another handy toy for the boat. We ended up hanging a float by a rope and Rex had many happy moments, swinging his bat at the float and smiling away. Between that and a sad little swing made from a broken fishing gaff, we had ourselves our very own park aboard the Tantrum … the things we do to keep a 4-year-old entertained at sea.
[email protected] - June 24, 2022