Here at six degrees south latitude, without access to Google, I am loathe to use famous quotations without first identifying their provenance, but “Someone” once said, “Go to sea. You will have adventures.” On our ninth day out, we were ploughing along in thirty knot winds with huge seas, and all manner of marine life was finding its way on board the “Nor’easter.” Travis was at the helm earlier that day, and narrowly escaped being struck in the face by a flying fish. Dolphins would swarm us in schools, with each of them leaping high in the air around us, as if to say “look at us, we’re here to play with your boat,” and would then proceed to surf our bow wave for several miles. Various small fish ended up high and dry on our decks, as did the occasional squid, which we normally wouldn’t find until it had died, dried, and left a black ink stain on our pretty teak decks.
I was sitting at the chart table making log entries that night, I felt something slimy flop onto my shoulder, and immediately deduced that another dreaded squid had found its way not only on board, but through the small deck hatch, which is probably seven feet off the water. I jumped up from the nav seat, and in the eerie glow of my red night-vision headlamp, could not locate anything writhing on the teak and holly cabin sole. I almost sat back down, figuring that in my severely sleep-deprived state, I had hallucinated the event, but felt something pulsate in my left shorts pocket. I reached in to remove this intruder, and it latched onto my index finger with its beak, jaws, probiscus, or whatever you call those little buggers’ mouths. It hurt, but having this miniature Kracken attached to my finger helped me speedily extract it from my pocket, and I violently shook it off onto the cabin sole. Gingerly, I tried to grab it somewhere where it couldn’t bite me again, but it was able to detect my movements, and like a snake, bend itself into a defensive posture. Bear in mind, this thing was only six inches long, but it was MAD!
Resisting my initial impulse to beat it into the floorboards with a winch handle, which would have ruined the varnish, cooler minds prevailed. I gently placed a paper towel over my guest and threw it overboard. The next calamari I encounter will hopefully be deep fried with jalapeno peppers.