Who doesn't love beating the sun up early on a Saturday morning, driving along the winding roads of the coast, and getting to the ocean just in time to see the sun rise? Yes, even in Japan we get to enjoy such simple pleasures of life.
Of course, we did this just so we could catch fish...and boy oh boy did we catch some fish!
As soon as the sun popped it's glorious amber head out of the sky, we loaded the boat with all our fishing gear and set sail to find a spot where the fish were plentiful.
Our boat driver and crew were all Japanese men, every one of them had a passion for fishing and sun-tanned skin from years out on the water! (Some things never change no matter what part of the world you are in)
Riding in the boat, while the driver looked for the "perfect spot" one couldn't help but feel peaceful. Nick asked, "Brittany why are you being so quiet?" as I sat on the bench of the boat staring out at the shimmering reflections the rising sun was making on the water. With the sea gulls flying overhead and the salty spray of the ocean lightly misting my skin, I was simply enjoying the peacefulness of the ocean, something Nick might get to do often (whether he wants to or not) but that I rarely do.
Just being on the water, completely engulfed by the heavenly smell of the ocean, all the while riding over gentle waves...somehow magical!
The crew didn't steer us wrong, in fact, they found such a great spot for fishing that everyone on board caught more than their fair share....after a couple of hours of the fish literally fighting for our bait, we all started to throw our catch back out into the water. (I didn't feel right about this....why hurt those fish if you weren't going to use them for food? At least let them swim merrily instead of putting them through the torture of being hooked and then thrown overboard! Oh well, such is the sport of fishing for some I guess.)
The fish that were biting that day was Mahi Mahi! These big fish were seen swimming in dozens all around the boat in shimmering shades of neon blue, green and yellow! They were stunning to watch swish through the water, yet powerfully strong and stubborn when attempting to reel them in. (And yes, though many have doubted me, I did in fact reel in my own fish....despite the tough workout that it gave my arms and back!)
I have been fishing since I was a little girl. My favorite childhood memories are spending the summers at my grandparents home out on the lake in Texas. I can distinctly remember my grandfather gathering all his fishing gear and going out to the edge of their dock to catch us some yummy fish for dinner. The entire event fascinated me...."PaPa, what's this?....Why do you do that?....What kind of fish are those?....What do we do with them now?" Most of the time I would just help him gather the bait and then watch as he fished, cleaned and prepared the fish for my grandmother to cook. Nonetheless, every time I have been fishing no matter where I am, I am reminded of those times with my grandfather as a child and it makes me happy.
This day was a "Big Catch" for the Holmans, Nick and I lost count after catching 5 a piece....but in the end, we took only 8 home. (Even with giving part of that away to our friends and my students, our freezer is stocked full of enough fish for a year!)
That night when we finally got home, after slicing all the fish and scrubbing ourselves clean of fish scales, we had a Mahi Mahi feast. Man oh Mahi, it was delicious!
We had grilled Mahi Mahi with mango and coconut rice, rosemary and olive oil new potatoes, fresh baked garlic bread as well as Mahi Mahi battered in Panko bread crumbs (the stuff the Japanese use to make shrimp tempura) stuffed into corn tortillias with shredded cabbage, peach salsa, black beans, cheese and lime! A la Mahi Mahi steak and Mahi Mahi fish tacos! Oishii! (Delicious)
Nothing beats a day out on the water and a feast of the afternoon's catch!
Nick and I have always loved fish, but living in Japan somehow makes us love fish even more....maybe we are becoming more like the Japanese, for we could eat fish and rice almost every day!