I had a very nice family on board today. Mom, Dad, 2 older boys and one small boy and one small girl. The weather started out beautiful and it was pretty calm when we started fishing. Probably 1-2 ft seas and no white caps.
We came to a nice Sargasso Weed line in about 300 ft of water. I headed down sea so my mate could put down the outriggers safely. As we started to fish, I heard one of the boys comment to the father about the rating he would give the “Rollercoaster” ride” he was getting. This was going in the calmest direction I could. Not a good sign. I would have liked to have gone to the east into the sea. There was a boat in front of me to the west and a lot of open water to the east, but that would have been a bumpier ride. The last thing I wanted to do is make anyone feel poorly. If going down sea was a “rollercoaster”, going into it would have been worse.
We caught a nice “gaffer” dolphin early and threw a few back that were undersized. Unfortunately, I had not gone very far before the two littlest children started feeling seasick. I knew I had to keep going down sea, or this trip was going to end early and I didn’t want that.
Sea Sickness is an unfortunate part of this business. Not everyone can handle being on boats. For some people, it doesn’t matter how calm or rough, it just gets to them. I have a lifelong friend that cannot go fishing with me without being miserable. He has tried time and time again. Sea Sick every time. And it has nothing with being “manly” or “tough”. My friend is in construction, a biker and was a fantastic athlete in our youth. He just gets Seasick on boats.
We were working down sea along the weed line and fishing was a little slow. There were 4-5 boats ahead of me now, but I knew I could not turn into the sea for the comfort of my customers. Then the wind picked up. Not really windy, but it started blowing about 12mph. It was more than the weather service was predicting. An inaccurate weather forecast, What a surprise. The increase in the wind was enough to cause the seas to bump up a bit and more of my party started to feel poorly.
I tried to go inshore to see if we could get out of the current. The combination of the wind and current can make the waves bigger. If you can get out of the current, sometimes it will calm down. Unfortunately, today, that was not the case. The reef was too murky to troll and anywhere there was blue water, there was current and waves.
The family made the call to come in early. I understand, although I don’t like it. I never want to end a trip that way. but I also applaud them. the trip was about the kids having fun and unfortunately, they were not. Too many times I’ve seen a family kept out on the water feeling poorly because Dad spent the money to go fishing and he didn’t want to “lose” any of it by going in early. I understand the expense, but once we leave, the money is spent. You can spend it to keep your family out feeling miserable or you can spend it to take them back land so they can feel good.
Today’s family put the kids ahead of the money and while I’m sorry they felt bad, that’s the way it should be.
We did end up with 2 keeper dolphin. It was enough for the whole family to have a nice dinner. Once we got to the dock, everyone bounced back immediately, they usually do. By the time my mate was done filleting the fish, everyone was all smiles again.
To be fair, today was not “rough”. The seas were 2-3 at most. That is not considered calm, but realistically, that is not a rough day either. It was just an average day on the ocean. Hopefully, they try fishing again with calmer seas.