June 4, 2007 Justin Chin

Another World

I sit here at my computer not knowing what to do. What a culture shock to be home. It’s good to be back, but boy do I love Kauai. That’s the right temperature for me. Great sun, great waters, none of that California, Bay Area ritual of wearing layers.

One of the highlights to the trip was reeling in a ~210 pound Ahi tuna. I say around 210 pounds because when it was weighed the Ahi was already gutted and that came in at 205 pounds. Boy, what an intense experience. That Ahi weighed more than I do and the fray took somewhere an hour to reel him in. I was on the reel, yanking in the line and reeling at the same time. That 200 lbs test blistered up my fingers pretty good. Plus, 3 other people took turns pulling at the line and at the same time trying to keep it away from clipping the boat and snapping.

There was a lot of line to reel in and the cranking was slow and deliberate. The Ahi was fighting the whole time, cutting left and right and deep under us. It raked Ned (the owner of the boat) all across the aft of the 29 foot boat. I almost passed on the reel; I was dry and my arms ached, but I couldn’t let it go, I had to keep up the fight. It was disheartening to let any line go back in that Ahi’s favor.

The whole time we knew it was a big sucker, and it took 3 people to gaff him into the boat.

(photo not for the vegetarian nor the squeamish)


All in all we caught 4 fish, 2 Ahi’s, a Mahi Mahi, and an Ono.

Each night Ned would cut up the fish  just before dinner. The first Ahi we caught was about 130 pounds and he passed out nice size Ahi fillets to his friends and family around the island. In trade we received some hand farmed Hawaiian salt. This is salt you can’t buy anywhere, because each family who takes part in the farming shares it with family and the people they know. Hard to find stuff.

The rest of the Ahi went to a great dinner with Ned’s extended family and friends. Massive amounts of sashimi, soyshu, mustard and wasabi was consumed that night. What a terrific night.

The big boy pictured above was sold to the fish market and most likely found its way to a restaurant somewhere.