Elias, our fishing master, is naturally, given his upbringing as the son of an ex seabird biologist, very concerned to run a bycatch-free operation.
The other day, we caught a red-footed boobie.
We usually watch any boobies carefully and quickly pull in the lines if they show interest in our lures. But this one gave us little chance. Before we knew it, he was on the water and pecking at our lure.
I hauled him in hand over hand (he had bitten at our hand line). It turned out that he was hooked through the lower mandible. It was a "clean" wound, though a bit bloody, and after some quick work with the needle nose pliers the bird was back in the water. I'm hopeful that he will recover pretty easily from the experience.
What hasn't recovered is our fishing effort. We are now extra-loth to leave the lines out without carefully attending them. And where we were towing a phalanx of offerings - two handlines, the rod, and two "exciter bird" teasers - now we put out a much less ambitious set. Just the one handline, or two at the most. I'm not quite sure what Elias' reasoning is for favoring the handlines over the rod, but I trust him.
Whatever else this passage might offer, it doesn't look to be rich in fish dinners.
This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!
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