Custom Search
Double-click here to change image
A Boat too Far

Following the wrong Helicopter for Tuna


                It was one of those typical Mexican mornings that one reads about in the travel magazines but rarely has an opportunity to experience; balmy weather, cobalt blue water, cloudless skies, and gentle offshore breezes from the northwest. Bay area resident Billy Patton turned toward his fishing companion, Alex Tapia, and, squinting at the Pacific's horizon, asked, "What do you say we go out a little farther? I don't see any boats around here. There must not be any action."
                Alex nodded his head, "Sure. Why not.  It's a big ocean."
                The captain of the thirty-odd foot Minerva shrugged his shoulders, turned the wheel, and headed south. It didn't make any difference to him where these people wanted to take a boat ride.
                As the Minerva continued to troll south, the unique seascape of Cabo San Lucas continued to shrink in size until only a faint outline of the mountain range could be seen from the stern of the sport fisher.
                It was nearly high noon when the captain slipped away from the helm to address his passengers.  "How far out you think to go?  Wee maybee almost twenty-five knots south from Cabo Falso?"
                Patton looked at Tapia who gave him one of those 'I don't care what we do' looks.  Patton signaled the captain to head toward home when he saw a dark object from the corner of his eye.  "What's that, Alex?"
                Tapia shielded his eyes against the sun and studied the moving object. "It looks like a helicopter."
                Patton smiled. "It must be off one of those tuna clippers. Or maybe a Japanese long-liner, they must have something spotted over there.
As Patton turn to give new instructions to the captain he saw the outline of a large ship to the southeast. "Yeah, there's one of those Japanese trawlers. Mario, see if you can follow that helicopter. Maybe we can catch some tuna, anyway."
                Mario looked at the two fishermen in shock. "Pero, Señores, why you think to follow..."
                Before he could finish his sentence, Tapia was at Patton's side pointing frantically at the aircraft. "What's going on, Bill?"
                The helicopter had turned about and was heading directly toward the Minerva. Within seconds the helicopter was circling the fishing boat and one of its crew members could be seen closely studying the two fishermen through binoculars. Abruptly, the helicopter broke off and resumed its vector toward the Japanese trawler.
                Patton and Tapia looked up at the bridge where the captain was laughing heartily. Patton demanded, "What's so funny? What was that all about?"
                Mario, between fits of laughter, managed to explain, "Señores, the

heliocopt, she no from tuna boat, she from Polocía. The Polocía no understand what you do out here. Maybe you look for amigo with narcotica, They know there no ees marleen thees lejos from Cabo, Señores. Too far, Señores.  Too lejos from Cabo for to hook el marleen."