Thursday 6:15 a.m.
Everyone seems to be a bit sluggish this morning. We are well prepared for our 10-hour deep sea fishing trip. Suzanne made plenty of sandwiches last night. And we are well stocked on water, sodas, and beer. We arrive at the Tender Bridge Marina almost on time. The draw bridge has only delayed us a few minutes. Graham quickly locates our ship, the “Green Machine” with Captain Dave and first mate Tommy. After some discussion about our fishing options, Kristina suggests we try for some King Mackarel which is 18 miles out. One hour later, we have two not-so-happy geek girls and yours truly not feeling quite up to par. I’m glad we all took anti-sea sick pills, except of course, Das Boot Man ( aka Tim the Socks guy ). The swells are four to five feet and getting worse, so after a half-hour of trawling for King, the first mate suggests that we head in closer to shore. We all happily welcome the suggestion. The ride back is much worse. We can barely stay in our seats let alone stand up. The 38-foot boot is crashing down hard against the troughs. The hard drive on my laptop ( with the last remaining copy of Windows installed on it ) doesn’t survive. Seems like fate has struck. 10:04 a.m.
We arrive back near the Jetty. After a quick snack, we are landing fish left and right. Tommy says that we are doing much better than the charter the day before. 12:30 p.m.
We have caught our limit of Spanish Mackarel ( 10 each ). Well, Graham and Phil have landed the most fish. The first mate, Tommy fills a five-gallon bucket with fillets. We offer some of the fresh catch to the boat hands, which they reluctantly accept. 2 p.m.
We return to the house. Nikki is there. I let her know that we have probably upwards of 50 pounds of fish. I don’t think that she was expecting us to bring that much fish back. She gets on the phone with the caterer. He will pick up the fish for a fish fry. He will blacken some and deep fry the rest. We are all pretty exhausted, so some of us head off for some much needed rest. The caterer arrives with the food. In addition to the fish, he has brought stuffed mushrooms, corn on the cob, a shrimp dish, a green salad, and a steak for me since I’m allergic to shrimp. A new video crew arrives just as we are finishing our feast. Thank goodness we won’t be videotaped while we are eating. It has been very difficult to ignore the cameras. We all take a stroll on the beach for some on-camera interviews. Some curious pre-teens spot us with our camera crew and ask if we are supermodels. We couldn’t have changed that much in a week, I suspect that the Graham Fan Club is to blame. The sun is setting and the sky is beautiful. Nikki sends the video crew home. I guess we won’t be encoding any RealVideo. Graham has selected a nice chardonnay for our last evening in the house. We gather around the jacuzzi tub to offer some toasts. We all feel fortunate to have won this contest. We are all very different but have many interests in common. I don’t think Red Hat knew what they were getting themselves into when they came up with this contest idea. The marketing types don’t seem to understand the technical types. We spend the rest of the evening relaxing and preparing for our return trip. Midnight
Tim, being an avid “X-Files” fan, wants to watch the “X-Files” movie again.
Paul Belvoir, California Power Exchange, ( Los Angeles ) http://www.calpx.com