Fishing With Hyenas
FISHING WITH HYENAS is a love story between girlie girl Theresa and commercial fisherman Captain Bart, who convinces her to crew on a ninety-two -foot tuna boat plying the North Pacific Ocean. Trading cashmere and high heels for raingear and rubber boots, she becomes a deckhand, confined for three months at a time, thousands of miles from anywhere. Bart’s tight group of fishermen—the Hyenas—become her extended family, but no one explains what appalling weather and hauling thousands of pounds of tuna would do to her hands.
Or to her heart. Or to her mind.
After nine months on the water, Theresa returns to life on land. But when Bart finds another tuna boat, he heads back out to Mother Ocean. “See you soon,” are the last words he says to her. Three days later, Bart dies of a massive heart attack.
Grief, financial devastation, and a lawsuit follow, but it is the family of Hyenas who help her pull through. FISHING WITH HYENAS is the true story of how it all started and the tale of what happened next.
FISHING WITH HYENAS made it to the Short List in Chanticleer’s Journey Award. Wish me luck in April 2018! https://www.chantireviews.com/2017/09/10/journey-2017-book-awards-for-narrative-non-fiction-the-short-list/
FISHING WITH HYENAS received national recognition as a Distinguished Favorite in the memoir category through Independent Press Award (IPA). http://www.independentpressaward.com/2017distinguishedfavorites
Chapter 7: Death’s Journey
When our boat came into view, I felt the punch in my gut and my knees buckled at the sight of her. One of the crew had set her flag to fly at half-mast. Her captain had died. My Bart.
Chapter 12: Highs and Lows
“The ocean definitely changes people. There are guys a lot tougher than you who come out here thinking they get to go on this great adventure. But once they can’t see land anymore, their minds get the best of them and some have gone crazy. They may have been ‘off’ a little to start with, but adding all this time to be with your thoughts? Well, it can mess with a person’s head.”
Chapter 12: Highs and Lows
I had a moment of happiness. I felt satisfaction, a sense of belonging, completely tethered to the world and to the universe. An albatross came into view. Freedom. Peace. I felt safe. We were out in the middle of the ocean. Literally. And I was safe. For the moment.
Chapter 17: Pago Pago
“PUSH!” Bart yelled as the other men lined the dock and pushed with all their might to put more distance between the boat and my dangling body. The tide was coming in and that forced the boat to push hard against the dock.
Chapter 30: Dead in the Water
My watch had come and gone in no time. I had been in bed about twenty minutes when Mario was at our stateroom.
“Bart? Hey, Bart! The engine stopped!” Mario yelled through our stateroom curtain. “What? What happened?” Bart yelled back in a panic.
He was still half-asleep as he bolted out of bed and threw on his clothes.
“We are dead in the water. The low oil pressure alarm went off just before the engine stopped,” Mario said as he followed Bart to the engine room.
“Oh, shit,” was all I heard out of Bart’s mouth as they both ran down the narrow stairs.
I sat up in disbelief. How could this be? With all the things that could go wrong out here. Our MAIN ENGINE? God help us.