Between Jacksonville and San Juan we caught three fish, all of them Mahi Mahi (also known as Dorado, or sometimes dolphin, which I find a little weird – I guess they look like dolphins?). I was on watch for the first one, and was so excited I was giggling like a child. All the time I was on the Philly run we had a line out every day but never caught a thing! I had to stay in the wheelhouse and pull back the throttles so the captain could pull the fish in (we use simple hand lines) from the boat deck, and the engineer pulled her up onto the main deck. She was stunning – yellow as a lemon with bright green steaks down her back, and thrashing wildly. The engineer had to stay back at first to keep from getting caught on the hook that was still in the fish’s mouth. The mate told me the trick is to cover the fish’s eyes and it will settle down. When we hooked one yesterday, I pulled it in; it didn’t have nearly as much fight as the first.
I read recently (in the book Life of Pi, of all places) that as a Dorado dies, it changes color from yellow to blue. I completely didn’t believe it – but it’s true!! As the fish died, her scales started flashing the wildest shades of blue, and the beautiful iridescence slowly faded to a dull gray. In a way, it was heartbreaking – but if the thought of a fish that was caught an hour ago, soaked in garlic and lemon and fried to a perfect gold doesn’t have you drooling like Pavlov’s dog, I give up.