Monday, April 7, 2008

Fly, fly away fish!

During the trip that we took, while the ship was at sea, I would spend my time at the rail watching for the flying fish. I would watch for maybe an hour and not see one. Then sometimes thirty or forty would launch themselves all at once. Usually only one or two would fly, but I became fascinated with how well they could fly.

They would be spooked into flying by the passing of the ship, and they would launch themselves into the air at a high rate of speed and at a low angle to the water, then they would glide for twenty or thirty feet then dive back in, or they would dip the lower tip of their tails in, and paddle like crazy, and fly some more. It was not uncommon to see them fly over one-hundred yards.

The flying fish is a very popular food in the Caribbean, it is cooked many ways. The national dish of Barbados is Cuo Cuo and flying fish. Cuo Cuo is corn meal and hominy. The favorite way to eat flying fish, is to bread and fry it, and eat it with lime juice. The roe is a delicacy.

In researching the flying fish I came across this painting by Herbert James Draper called, "The Flying Fish". "the sinister element is latent, but the mermaid's power is suggested by the spontaneous and eager way in which she snatches at the flying fish."

The Mermaid was greatly feared by the ancient sailor, she was seductive, erotic, and in most cases irresistible to the sailor. When caught under her spell, it was almost certain death. She was a very powerful both physically and spiritually. There are many tales connecting sailors, flying fish, and mermaids.

While watching for flying fish at the rail, and staring into the glare of the water, I strained my eyes to the point that I was blinded and couldn't hold them open. My wife asked me why I was so foolish. I thought about it a long while and the only conclusion was that I was under the evil spell of a mermaid. Darn evil mermaids.


Fred said...

Seems to me there are flying fish in the waters off the southern CA coast. We were in a tour boat off Catalina Island one time and every now and then a flying fish would jump into the boat.

You need to be careful with the glare on the water. It can be as bad as glare from snow. My sister was at the beach all day once. She ended up sunburning her retinas, or some such. Very painful for her for a few days.

Why more people don't suffer from such things, I don't know. It never happened to me and I went to the beach a lot and rarely, if ever, wore sunglasses.

Kym said...

Ernie, I'm glad you didn't succumb to the siren song. The blogsphere seemed empty without your posts.

Eel River Ernie said...

When I worked for Orange County Fire Department a group of us firemen would annually charter a boat for overnight Yellowtail and Albacore trips out of San Diego and we would often find Flying Fish on the deck when we started fishing in the mornings. Occasionally you would also see them coming out of the water during the day when the boat was travelling.

Don't know if it was the "evil spell" of the Mermaids or not but I can recall not feeling well some mornings, particularly after playing poker and drinking whisky most of the night.

Welcome Back Ernie!!!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Fred, I should have known better, I've done it before... I don’t like to wear glasses or hats, and I don't like to pack things. I've learned to wear a hat when I'm outside, but I spend more time picking it up and putting it back on than wearing it. The same with glasses. I only need reading glasses in dim light, otherwise I'm fine. But, just as with hats, I spend a lot of time picking them off the ground. Sunglasses don't even come to my mind that I should wear or pack them.

I don't get it, other people seem to do just fine. Maybe I'm just too kinetic.

Kym, you are just too sweet. Did you see the poem that I put in the last post? That's a great poem, one that guy's can relate to. I have it on my office wall along with Shakespeare’s “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”, and Suzy Blah Blah’s “Every human Been”. Suzy can bring your feet right back down to earth, even while she is still “flying high” if you get the whiff.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Eel River Ernie, I was just talking to a fellow that would go on fishing trips to Mexico. He said that when the fishing got slow they would fish for flying fish with a fly rod and flies. He said that the Mexicans would laugh at them, but they had more fun catching the flying fish than the tuna.

Anonymous said...

Ernie, Never thought about fishing for them, or even fly fishing for them... hmmmnn. Naw, my wife probably wouldn't buy it if I told her where I was going this time - ERE

suzy blah blah said...

..ay ay, ahoy their Earnie, so glad that the mooon led yuo and mrs B back tu us safe and salted --and so but now that your hear -heres a safety-vision tip from Suzy ... --If yuo shouold ever see a flying siren wearing shades and singing at chew through the blog window --don't worry abuot falling undre her evil bad spel LOL! -- just sing back to her and yuo well never die becuz the song goes on forever ...... and ever .... and ever .... and ever --LOL,

Robin Shelley said...

And that's a long damned time!
LOL, Suzy!

Kym said...

Ernie, I enjoyed that poem. I love the first line especially. But I laughed out loud when you said you have We Band of Brothers on your wall.

That is my favorite speech but 1 from Shakespeare. Have you ever seen Branagh perform Hal doing the Crispin Day speech? I loved the speech before but after that it moved up to second place.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Kym, there isn't even one line of that poem that I don't like.

It reminds me of a time when people carved what they needed out of the land. They basically whittled themselves a ship, and picked the cotton and wove the sails. They made their rope out of hemp. They made their sealers out of pine tar. They hand forged the steel and brass fittings. It’s no wonder that they loved their ships, they made out of their own blood and sweat, and when they lost one it was like a death in the family.

I’ve never heard Hal recite “The Brothers”, I bet it is a kick. How do I find it?

I like the “We few, We happy few, We band of brothers”, because it reminds me that, even today, bravery, courage, and honor in the face of adversity is important. It can be summed up as character. I don’t see a lot of people nowadays that have those kind of ideals. Did they quit teaching that in school?

I like the Suzy Blah Blah poem, because I like Suzy Blah Blah. She has not ever said one mean thing about anyone that I know of. And reading Suzy is like reading Shakespeare, you have to stop and re-read a few things and think about; ”What the hell did she say there”. She uses a lot of inside stuff, but most everything is pertinent. When she said that she was “so glad that the mooon led yuo and mrs B back tu us safe and salted”, the mooon that she was referring to was the moon in one of my favorite tunes by another old salty dog that never quits; Niel Young, "Harvest Mooon"

Anonymous said...

While on a cruise in the Caribbean we saw huge "flocks" of flying fish one day, like silver birds. Exquisite! They were on the menu that night but didn't go over very well.

Anonymous said...

Added note, one name for flying fish roe is tobiko, that red caviar used in sushi. mmmm

suzy blah blah said...

Earnie yuo kno that dude yuo have to reed twice? -- English Willy... Suzy says sheel take the spear yuo can keep the Shake,
LOL and as for ol Neil as a mutter of fuct ==their IS a new Mooon risin write now]rite?... AND any way its always a good time to celabrate -- harvest or knot= write? trip trup trip triiiiping -- LOL cuz its nite its late we feel like danxing and LOL '''
but then .....what?
THaT is the 2uestion [" " LOL

"to dreeam, perchance to sleeep"
huggles always,

Suzy Blah blah said...

Robin == the thing about forever and ever and evre is that most fokes got it bakcwords cuz the new moon rises on the other side when teh full moon sets on teh side where teh early word gits the warm even before the sun shines... LOL )? and the full one rises like a worm when he um when he rises LOL ... thats what Billy toll me /// when the moon rises so does the worm LOL@!! and it IS a "long dammed time" cuz Billy got a lotta staying power (sometimes) LOL and then its allatonce!!! whitch is the other side of ever and ver wow!

ben said...

Suzy... That was certainly Shakespearean!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yep, there's always a lot of poetry in Suzy's stuff.