Green Ling Sashimi
This was a special day. Not for any reason in particular but the elements just seem to align (as they have a tendency to do) today. Nothing went as expected but our expectations were surpassed in every way. Well, at least mine were.
We set out from Sausalito early in the morning on a mission to go catch some crab. Tyler, Mike, and Jason live on sailboats in the East Bay and after listening to the epic crab fish extravaganza one to many times, rallied together to come out today.
We topped off the fuel tank on Alchemy and set sail not long after sunrise. The current was a dying to slack which was ideal. By the time we sailed out to Point Bonita and got the pots ready to drop, the current would be slack – perfect crab fishing conditions. We had seven pots on board. Previous efforts have yielded 40-50 crab in about three hours of fishing with only four pots. We were getting psyched for a serious haul.
We dropped a line of seven pots, grabbed a beer, and waited for the pots to soak about half an hour. Game time. Let’s go harvest our dungies. Pot after pot… not a damn crab. Well one tiny red, but nothing edible. We set a second line of nets in a different spot. Again, not a thing! Well, not a crab at least. We DID gill net a green lingcod with a crab pot. These are prehistoric looking fish if there ever was one. The green color of the green ling goes all the way to the meat and they are delicious. We put him in the hold.
While pulling in our second set, I spotted a blow from a whale. Sure enough a big ol gray whale surfaced several times as she swam past us and around Point Bonita. We were all pretty stoked. Unexpected score.
Figuring that Point Bonita was a bust for crab, we set sail again and set a course southward towards Baker Beach. The current was sucking us out a bit so we had to constantly alter our course to port not to get sucked out. Then I noticed how stoked Tyler and Mike looked. They had never been out this far in the ocean. Screw it. Lets get sucked out I thought. There is a special feeling that overcomes oneself when you are in the ocean and can see nothing but water to the West and can see the cost as far as the horizon will allow to the North and South. So that’s where we went. It was awesome.
Fighting the current to get back in was a bit of a chore but there was really no place else any of us would rather be so we savored the moment.
We finally made it to Baker Beach. The current was really starting to rip now. We dropped our pots in a line and waited. It then occurred to me that I had some ginger I pickled on board along with wasabi, chopsticks, and soy sauce. Green Ling Sashimi! I love nothing more than catching a fish and having the freshest sashimi possible. I’ve caught and made sashimi out Ahi, Mahi, Ono, Mackrel, but never Lingcod. I filleted up the fish and cut up some beautiful green slices of sashimi. We washed it down with a dark and stormy made with ship brewed ginger beer while watching the dolphins play in the ocean swells rolling rhythmically beneath Alchemy’s keel.
Just then we noticed that our crab pots were scurrying across the cove. The current was ripping so hard that they wouldn’t stay put. We fired up the diesel and had a serious scavenger hunt trying to recover the pots. Mike was on the helm with his greek fisherman’s cap totally hamming it up for some photographs. We wound up loosing one of the pots but the entertainment of the search was well worth it.
After admitting defeat to loosing that last pot, we set sail and put Alchemy on a course back towards the golden gate bridge. The sun was getting low in the sky and the light was becoming absolutely beautiful during the golden hour. Four friends sailing back in from a day of fishing sharing stories and good laughs… this is what we live for, right?
We sailed back into Sausalito and dropped the anchor in a nice calm spot in the bay. We fired up the grill, tossed on our green ling filets, broke open a bottle of wine and had one hell of a candle lit man date. Thanks guys!
We had a ton of pictures from this trip. Rather than having them collect dust on my hard drive, I posted them up on facebook. You can see the rest of the images here.