Today Joel, Adam, Tom, Dave, and myself chartered a fishing boat out of Granville Island for a five-hour fishing excursion out by the local waters of English Bay. Our boat came courtesy of Bonnie Lee Fishing Charters. It turns out that this was my second time patronizing Bonnie Lee as two years ago, I was part of a bachelor party that rented speed boats from them.

It was a fabulous day for fishing. The weather was spectacular. Granville Island was a beautiful sight to see. We departed with our fishing guide and captain Terry at around 1:30pm, heading west towards West Van. Terry was a really nice chap who knew a lot about fishing and boats, after spending decades as a fisherman. He told us a ton of instructions on how to handle the rod and reel. Even after two go-arounds on the instructions, I still had no idea what the hell to do. It involved a lot of reeling and keeping your rod up.

Within the first hour, Terry admitted that this season was the worst he’s seen in all his years of fishing. We’d be lucky to even catch a single fish during our five-hours. This wasn’t good news, but being out on the water on a great day overrode any bad news. Soon after the four lines had been placed in the water, Joel caught a small shark! We had to throw it back in, but it was really cool to see it onboard for a short while. It threw up a little when it was being held by its tail. Neat!

We also caught a few jellyfish, which did not come aboard. Adam actually caught a nice looking salmon but it was too small for us to keep. Terry said we had to throw it back in. Too bad. We did take a photo of it before we let the little guy back in. The closest we came to catching a real big one was when Dave was in control of a rod when we had a bite. He lost it just as the fish was coming near the boat. It literally was the one that got away.

Though there some plans by the boys to drink themselves silly, that never materialized. The waters were quite choppy in places, leaving a few to deal with sea sickness. Adam refunded his lunch into the chop. I even got a picture of that as he was wiping up his mouth.

A few of us got to take the wheel of the boat. Terry at times had to leave the bridge to down to the deck to tend to the rods and make new lines. His rule was that if he left the bridge, someone had to sit down and take the wheel. Joel and Tom had a go at it, but then it was my turn soon after. I’m not sure what it was but I just settled into the job. I was the only one to get to execute turns with the boat. That was really cool since I got to handle the throttle, turn the boat, and watch for other marine traffic. The bridge is a nice place to be because it’s kinda covered and you’re high up, so you can see everything. I was at the helm for about two hours, turning the boat back and forth along our fishing track.

Some of the marine traffic you see is really interesting. There was this huge floating Nike ad with Markus Naslund on it. We also saw three different cruise ships heading out to see. Early on, there was this massive cargo container ship that came steaming off our starboard. It’s amazing how fast such a massive ship can go. Though it was quite a distance away from us, the wake it left behind was impressive. We could all see it coming at us from about 20 seconds away. I was at the helm and I just watched it come in. Terry yelled that we should all get ready for it. When it hit, it rolled the ship over at least 40 degrees. I thought we might even tip over. It was a lot of fun.

A few of the lads napped during the afternoon as the fish weren’t exactly biting. This left ample opportunity to snap some funny pictures of Joel. By the end of our excursion, we came up empty in terms of fish. Nonetheless, everyone had a great time.

When we came back to Granville Island, Terry said that I was a natural at handling the boat, which is apparently rare among his charter clients. I still think he was being generous with his comments, but maybe all that video game playing did come in handy.

With no fish in hand, we decided to drown our sorrows at Sammy J. Peppers for dinner. Half of us ordered salmon which was an excellent choice. Tom was so impressed with the place, he wondered why he hadn’t been to SJP earlier. After dinner, we proceeded to Dairy Queen where we had “afters”, which is apparently British for dessert.

It was a fun day overall and I’m glad I went. Thanks to Joel for organizing and to Dave for driving.

Here are some pics from the day. See if you can spot some highlights: Dave looking like he belongs in the Village People, Adam wiping his mouth after vomiting, Joel falling asleep with his water bottle in a suggestive position, and finally, Joel and Tom looking like they’ll be friends forever.

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