Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Hi friends. Yes, don't adjust your monitors, it is a live report from the long-range vessel Polaris Supreme. After a good week of maintenance (except for making sure our Sirius radio properly functioned) and cleaning, we departed Fisherman's Landing this morning at 0700 hours for a 17-day excursion with Mr. Tom Pfleger and friends. After loading a couple of hundred scoops of sardines, we cleared the point at 1000 hours and as anyone who knows a thing or two about weather and sea conditions in San Diego -- or any coastal Southern California area -- knows that our ride out this morning was rather sporty. We hadn't even cleared the point and the circus ensued.
The first day of a new season is always comical for us "seasoned" crew members. It's one of the funniest days of the year for me, that's the truth. Eight veteran, long-range mariners stumble and tumble their way about the boat like the time a baby takes its first step - banging into walls, tripping over their own boots and heck, a few of us even fought the urge to vomit. Granted, the weather was less than ideal but this happens on the ride to the bait receivers sometimes, let alone rockin' and rollin' in a confused sea a mile from them. Even with all of the flubs and flounders of the first few hours of being back on the boat, we're alive and if you know us, we're going to be just fine. I never really appreciated such an event before; going back out on our first crazy adventure of the year with my older brothers and that is exactly what we are - a family, and we're all back and ready to do this.
Since I have the time, I'll fill y'all in on the status of my previously mentioned "family" members. Riddler is doing just fine; he's switched from white Air Monarch Nike's to all black Nike's which he sometimes pairs with black socks - which looks amazing, by the way. Drew got married in November and then hurt his thumb in a roller-blading accident. As a few of you whom where at the Fred Hall show might have heard, Gunny's daughter was in a car accident but other than a few "minor" injuries, she's doing just fine and will make a full recovery. Jed didn't hurt himself this winter so we're pumped to have him healthy for a full season - although, we do have some time-in once we complete this trip so there is still time for his fingers to hurt but we're hopeful he'll be just fine come June. Mark only looks three and a half months pregnant rather than his usual eight and a half months preggo and his son was accepted in St. Joseph's law school, so that's dandy. Chefs' Schooler and Shawn are great and yours truly is doing fantastic - here and ready to do some bronzing after my Guatemalan bronze-a-thon a week ago peeled off the other day. Bottom line, we couldn't be better. We're pumped to be back.
Anyhow, today was nothing to write home about other than traveling and napping but we figured that we'd do so anyways. I can't reveal all of our secrets of all the fun we're going to have on this trip but I'll give you just a tiny glimpse of the craziness that we're about to take part in: on-board we have low-carb ice cream, Yellowtail roe, a paddle, a 12-volt motorized reel, and a man by the name of "Cowboy". I'll leave the rest to your wild imaginations. Good night now.
-The Supreme Team
P.S. We miss you, Chugey, and your bicycle-kick wake-ups.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Hello. Our first, full travel day was somewhat uneventful by normal standards but by our standards, it was a riot. We worked out, ate breakfast, fiddled about various boat/rigging projects, held a couple of seminars, rigged more tackle, and then, we ate lunch, napped, ate some more, rigged more tackle, and enjoyed dinner and a movie. That was pretty much our day in a nutshell.
Highlights of the day for me: 1. Mark trolled all morning for not even a sniff of a jig strike and then I relieved him of his duties so that he could eat lunch. I took my shirt off, sat in the chair for what I'm guessing was thirteen minutes and then, bam! Jig strike! How you like me now, Clark? Granted, it was about a an 8 lb. Yellowtail but the rest of his buddies were pretty hungry and we broke up the ride by pulling on some of his companions -- so that was fun. 2. Putting a bunch of dead bait and other nonsense into a food processor to feed to our bait. It's most likely the happiest bait on the planet right now as they were fattened up all day. I'm serious, they're getting the "bluefin tuna in the pens" treatment. They are happy. 3. The movie "Flight". I only was able to catch the first half of what I first thought was "Requiem For A Dream Part II" but then the airplane stuff started. I'm sorry if this statement is insensitive but Denzel Washington can sure make a cocaine-using, alcoholic, cigarette-smoker look so good in a movie. Great actor. Can't wait to see how the rest of the film plays out.
Anyhow, not too much to report today other than my usual idiotic banter. Oh yeah, before I forget. After twelve years in this business, I finally got to examine and learn about a new species of fish I've never heard about nor seen: a "Mid-Shipman (?)" I believe is what it is called. Of all the places to examine and identify this new creature, it was dead on the fuel dock. That's the advantage of having a stud biologist on the boat. Thanks, Scootch. Basically, this thing looks like a Catfish without whiskers and that's what we were calling it until Uncle Scootch swooped in and set us straight.
So that's all. Tomorrow, we'll be driving by Rocas Alijos and we'll give it a try for some Yellowtail for tacos and roe to feed the bait. We'll make our intended destination around lunch time and then we'll be headed back on our merry way. Thanks for checking in.
-The Supreme Team
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Hi friends. We're still traveling down in decent weather, with plenty of sunshine to make for an enjoyable trek. Although, the travel days can be very monotonous, we always find something out of the ordinary to do to break up the boredom. Today was a unique day, even by our standards; and even after all of the sea time that passengers and crew members alike have accumulated over the decades, we still found ourselves in activities, scenery, and fishing that we don't experience everyday.
Now, I'm not trying to make roses out of you-know-what; we caught Yellowtail today. That's all. We didn't run into the first wave of Albacore or run up on a breezer of giant Bluefin tuna. Nope, we simply caught beautiful 18-22 lb. Yellowtail. Before I go any further - I am not bashing the Yellowtail fishery in any way shape or form. We had a great time doing it today and in all honesty, typing out words to explain the amount of fun we had for an hour would bore everyone half to death. What garners this report is simply the hour-long spectacle that was associated with our Yellowtail fishing. Having wide open fishing and not really trying to compete with other boats or boost our own egos is fun enough, trust me. Just good old fashioned yankin' and crankin' is what we did today but add in the sight of breaching Humpback Whales (two adults and one cute little calf, literally within casting distance) with the backdrop of one of the most beautiful destinations that we fish in one of the most isolated places in the Eastern Pacific was something I'll never forget. Like I said, it was Yellowtail fishing; but add in the group of gentlemen that we shared this experience with, it was hard not to just stop for a moment and take everything in. All in all, it was a super fun day.
I'm sorry for the lengthy report. I'm reading three books at the moment and one of them is 83 Neurobic exercises to increase mental fitness and it encourages you to do some off-the-wall stuff - things that you normally wouldn't do to keep your brain healthy. It's a fascinating read and I'm applying a lot of the little things that the book says to do. I'm sure that I'm driving the crew crazy with how stoked I am to do these things; from switching my watch to my other hand, to navigating my way around the wheelhouse with my eyes closed and let my senses other than sight guide me around (don't worry, I'm not driving), to putting different types of tape on the keyboard (don't ask) - it's all really interesting to me and it's keeping the travel days fresh and exciting. So, I apologize for this whacky report but I'm helping to keep my brain stimulated and hopefully yours too.
Anyhow, With this particular trip -- or any 17-day trip, for that matter -- there is always something new to do to keep us on our toes. From rigging up "Bruce" our new anchor (insert circus music here) to finding a good book to read to learning a new way to rig tackle or just enjoying the ride with some good friends, the entire experience of traveling down to our destination can be looked at in multiple ways - today was one of those good travel days and I felt like sharing it with everyone because we're pumped. Other than good weather and good food, I'll leave y'all with a few more clues as to what in the heck we're doing with our time. It involves: five grown men, a food processor, Yellowtail Milt, a deck brush, and a bait scoop. Stimulate your brains. We'll chat with you manana.
-The Supreme Team
P.S. Devon, Alayna, and Lyall - I caught y'all a delicious Calico Bass today. I wanted to release it but mortality was imminent. I am deeply sorry. Scootch didn't even try to save it either so it's half his fault. Sorry.
April 12, 2013
The reports will now be generated through the office as we are out of our Sat phone range. Our weather is good and we should arrive to the fishing grounds at 4 pm tomorrow, Saturday. The reports of excellent fishing have us all excited. We're just doing the normal stuff, and getting our equipment rigged and ready. Had a great lunch today consisting of the critters we caught yesterday at Alijos Rocks.
Check back tomorrow for an update.
The Polaris Supreme Crew
Saturday April 13
(report from the office)
We arrived at Hurricane Bank at 4pm and started fishing. The seven anglers on board landed 29 wahoo by dusk. After dinner they went back out for an evening bite that lasted until 3am and picked up 27 tuna ranging from 90 - 198 lbs. Three that were estimated over 200 lbs were lost. There is lots of life around here and our weather is really great. Richie is keeping a detailed daily log and will post it when we start back home.
Thanks for checking in!
The Polaris Supreme Crew
Sunday April 14, 2013
Today we had about 7-10 wahoo and several tuna. Four nice ones around 170 lbs., and some smaller ones (many released) 50-60 lbs. We lost 4 nice ones, 2 thought to be over 200 lbs. The guys are pretty tired putting in 36 hours of fishing time. Most only had 3-4 hours of sleep.
Monday April 15, 2013
Scratched away for 16 wahoo. Weather is excellent. Didn't get much tuna until the end. We had fun kite fishing on frozen flying fish into the dark. We re-baited and have a good supply of bait tonight and have hopes of a better day in the morning.
Thanks for checking in.
The Polaris Supreme crew
Monday April 15, 2013 (am report)
We got 15 wahoo this morning. Our weather is outstanding. Just really great. Conditions are still good. We plan to start our fishing this afternoon around 4pm. And it will probably go on until 4 am.
Thanks for checking in,
The Polaris Supreme crew
April 17 & 18, 2013
Wednesday (the 17th) we had 10-11 Tuna in the 110-197 lb range and 12 wahoo. This morning we so far we have 8 tuna in the same range as yesterday, and 2 wahoo. Conditions are still good and we are having fun with the kite fishing. Yesterday we had some wind, and today's forecast is to be more, but so far we are having good weather. Hope it keeps up.
Thanks for checking in.
The Polaris Supreme Crew
Friday April 19
Great day of fishing today. One over 200 lbs. and a couple real close.
We had 20 tuna and 12 wahoo. Weather has backed off and is gorgeous.
We are looking forward to the last couple days of fishing.
The Polaris Supreme crew
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
Hi friends. Thanks for nothing, Joey. We were really looking forward to those fresh flour tortillas and now, because of you, we are burrito-less for three days. Let me guess - traffic? Anyways, we just now (08:33 hours) dropped off Riddler, Tom, and the gang to board their flights and fly back home. We've taken Jeff along for the ride with us as a bargaining chip just in case we need to barter for the aforementioned flour tortillas or who-knows-what. Our weather right now is not very Cabo San Lucas, that's for sure. It's really not that bad but it isn't quite extreme sun and bikinis and margaritas weather. At the moment, we are making horrible speed so we'll hope to make that up along the way so that we're not arriving to the docks at 17:00 hours on Friday evening. Once we get closer to home, we'll send out a better ETA to the office.
On behalf of myself and the entire crew, we'd like to thank Tom P. for allowing us to go on vacation with him; especially me. I wasn't supposed to be here and he graciously took me aboard and after what I witnessed the past two weeks, I would've been very upset as to what I would've missed. Every time Tom brings the boys and heads out with us, things are just right. They're a very cool group and we do some fun things that we don't get to experience very often. So thank you, Tom, from Drew, Jed, Mark, Gunny, Schooler, Shawn, and myself; I miss smelling your fresh coffee in the morning as you roll up to the wheelhouse. I also miss RK and his banter with Mark and his humor. I miss B-Bo and his laid back style. I miss Hoolie and thank you for teaching me how to plank. I miss Scooch, a lot; I miss your knowledge to everything that is the ocean and I miss your lower back tattoo - we all do. And most of all, I (we) miss Cowboy. We miss your scent and everything that makes Cowboy, Cowboy. Grab Chugey and let's go bowling. We can hit the ceiling with the ball too, that sounds like a real gas.
Without sounding much more like the rambling idiot that I already am, thank you to Tom P. and the gang. Let's do it again soon, yeah? So that's all. The next couple of days will be filled with various cleaning and maintenance chores, playing Siskel and Ebert in the galley (my favorite movie today was "Dark Shadows" with Jonny Depp. It was funny, it was weird, it was sexy; it was classic Jonny D, baby!), and I'm sure Jeff and I will continue our game of "100 Skittles, 1 Dixie Cup" at some point. It's basically us standing at the ladder, taping a cup to the stern and trying to shoot Skittles in to the cup. So far, we're 0/100. Good thing we have spare time for me to perfect my "J" and make it rain. We're out. We'll chat with you manana.
-The Supreme Team
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Good afternoon. We're still steaming up the line; making terrible speed at the moment. We're still to far away and there is still a large land mass that we have to navigate around to give a solid ETA at the moment (14:01 hours). We're about 150 nautical miles from the Cedros/Benitos gap so we've got a ways to go. Our weather thus far has been windy and cold. If the breeze would back off 10 knots or so, it would be hot butter out here. We don't do too much more complaining about it though, we easily could be taking spray over the house and shuttering along. It's really not bad; just windy and cold.
Anyhow, we've been knocking out various projects around the boat like Mark wrapping new gaffs because he breaks them at an alarming rate, organizing the tool box, organizing the tackle bins/upper deck, and Jeff was last seen rigging up 130 lb. flourocarbon leaders for some reason. I guess he's bored or really excited for his next trip. Other activities have included watching "Zero Dark Thirty", which we gave one thumb up, napping, and working out. I'm pretty sure Drew is trying to kill me. Yesterday, he had us walk around the boat 35 times, do 100 squats and 100 sit-ups. Today, he had us walk around the boat 70 times, do 150 push-ups and 300 squats. I hate Drew. So, I'm taking the day off tomorrow because on Friday, we have almost 6 tons of tuna/wahoo to take out of the wells and put into carts. Bottom line, I hate Drew right now. Hate him. Schooler wanted me to make mention that he made delicious cheeseburgers for lunch and I'm going to mention that he is wearing orange socks, shorts, and a long sleeve shirt; I can't decide if he looks like a hippity-hop or a Home Depot bucket.
So that is all. We'll chat with you tomorrow and hopefully, we'll make some decent speed and have a set ETA for y'all. Later.
-The Supreme Team
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Hi friends. Mother Nature is lovin' us right about now. She's given us an absolutely gorgeous ride as we make our final approach to home. It's not quite soft butter but it's a notch away from that. Word to your mama - Mama Nature. Anywho, we finished detailing out the engine room machinery and we can eat off of the floor of our heads (bathrooms); so what do we do now? Well, Drew fired up a cigar, took his shirt off and took a nap on the freezer, Jed, Gunny, Mark, Shawn and I started a poker tournament that Shawn ended up winning, and we basically just kicked it the rest of the day.
With that, it's time for another installment of "Polaris Supreme Movie Reviews!" "The Dark Knight Rises" was sick. "The Paperboy" was weird, but good. John Cusack is real creepy in that one. "Deadfall" was terrible. Not even Olivia Wilde could save that one, and last but not least, "That's My Boy" was quite possibly the best and worst movie I've ever seen. Probably the latter but there were some funny parts.
So that is all. Jeff unknowingly donated his Ipod for us to use as we keep on keepin' on up the line and we are just straight kickin' it. More good news, we've gained .5 knots! As of now, our ETA to Customs is sometime between 10:00 and 11:00 hours. If we weren't running so late and had some bait, I would've stopped on that breezer I just saw. Bluefin? Interesting (Not 15 minutes after typing this up, we saw another, up high and dry and we saw some big backs.) Anyhow, after arrival to Fisherman's Landing tomorrow, we'll be shutting the Supreme down for a month so the staff can celebrate Drew and Kristin's wedding reception and have plenty of time to recover. We're all pretty pumped for it, especially little Hard Hat Boy.
Mark has been working on his "dance" moves and I've given up all hope to try and help him. Picture this: I had Ke$ha's "Die Young" going and I'm pretty sure that he looked like a man riding an invisible mechanical bull--in slow-motion--with Tom's "Shark Shield" attached to it. That's right, he looked like a man riding a transparent bar bull in slow-motion while the said bull had electricity pulsating through it. Like I said, I had to quit helping to get him right and just sit back and watch Mark express himself through the art of "dance". It's going to be awesome!
We'll chat with you again in a month or so when we begin our annual maintenance period. If you're in the San Diego area, come on by and show us some love. Be sure to call the office for our most up-to-the-minute ETA for tomorrow. Adios from Team Supreme - Tommy & Susan, Drew, Jed, Mark, Gunny, Schooler, Shawn, and myself.
-Richie and The Supremes