Over the Lips, Past the Jaws
I tried not to look south. There was a long period between the swells, rising like ominous dull-green mountains against a gunmetal sky. It was ugly.
We had 30 miles to the shark grounds, but we’d come to an impasse. Capt. Joe DiBella, the owner and restorer of Capt. Frank Mundus’ legendary vessel, the Cricket II, had stopped the boat to speak with the man paying for the charter, my co-worker, whom we’ll call Andy. In DiBella’s opinion, it was too nasty to press on, but he left the decision of whether we should turn around to us. My heart sank.
Capt. Quint from the film Jaws — my all-time favorite movie — was based on Mundus, and I was sure I’d never get the opportunity to fish with him again. This was my one shot, but now it was time to make the call: spin around or forge ahead. I looked down the bow past Cricket II’s massive pulpit, watching the foamy swells blow closer, when Mundus walked out on deck holding a Styrofoam cup filled to the brim with coffee. “This is the most stable goddamned boat that was ever built!” he boomed. “There’s no reason to turn around.”