September 23rd and 24th.
Let’s be honest. Biloxi, Mississippi is not the funnest town around. That is, unless you’re 50+ with some time on your hands and money to gamble in one of the many cheesy casinos around (no offense, really). It’s so boring that I don’t even remember what I did with my day on Thursday. Actually, I’m lying. I do remember. I updated this blog about the 3 previous days and went for the hottest jog of my life down the the Hard Rock Cafe casino and back – about 4 miles. By hot I don’t mean it was an attractive run because there’s not much to look at…although, I did get honked at, so maybe it was hott.
The only other highlight of Thursday came when I got back to the boat to find Ian, Tania, Steve, and Bailey getting ready to go out to get Thai food. Now, nothing can beat Lucky Thai for me, but I’m willing to give other places their fair shot at mediocrity. We called for a taxi, since the Thai place was too far to walk, and as it turns out, you wouldn’t want to walk there anyway. The return-taxi driver asked us if we were from around “here” because only locals go to Kim Long’s, apparently. He laughed and said, “Yeah, you guys are in a pretty bad area.” Seemed harmless, but what would I know.
I really can’t even speak anymore about Thursday because it was just that dull. I stayed up way too late sitting on the pilothouse watching the headlights of cars passing on Beach Boulevard and talking with Bailey. Then talking to Steve and Ian. I didn’t have my watch, but noticed that the moon had made a pretty clear passage across the sky by the time I decided I should get to bed.
Friday, well, that was pretty similar. I woke up early because Sandy had said she wanted to get errands done in the morning since we had a 3pm must-be-back rule. Tania and I went over to the Grand Casino where Sandy and Dr. Wise had been staying so that we could take a “swim test.” By that, I mean swim from one end of the pool to the other without stopping to demonstrate our swimming ability. After that, we headed to Wal Mart in Ocean Springs (again!) to stockup for the trip.
Kait came with us and her and I got some quick-dry board shorts that were on sale. I got some other things I deemed necessary: sunscreen SPF 50, polarized sunglasses, water shoes, some granola/energy bars, razors because I refuse to become a hairy beast while on board, and a card reader for my camera. I also got some not so necessary but completely necessary things at the same time: an 80s inspired pair of sunglasses (which were quickly approved by Ian with a, “AWESOME GLASSES. I might have to take those.”), some ballet flats with gems on them (mostly because they were cheap/cute, but also to prepare for drinks and dancing in St. Petersburg and New Orleans), and a package of Sea Creature Sillybandz. Kait got a package of Rock Star bandz so that we could trade up. There were waaay too many in one package though — 24. Who wears that many little plastic bands? And why do I want 5 dolphins? I just want one of each shape.
Anyway, when we got back to the boat we had a trunk full (and I mean full) of groceries and I convinced some guy driving around in a golf cart to let us load it up and drive the groceries down. Thank God for that because it would have probably taken 20 trips in the heat of the day to bring all that stuff down. I decided I wanted to try and get energy out before I was stuck on a boat for 10 days, so I asked Kait if she wanted to go for a walk. We ended up jogging, which wasn’t the brightest idea because it was atrociously hot out and I felt like I was going to melt/explode. Plus, two girls jogging down the street in Biloxi is a spectacle. We were honked at, whistle and waved at. I mean, I can’t complain really. There could be worse things in life than being flattered, if that counts as flattery.
When Johnny came back, he had this little tackle-box looking thing that he stated was his “new toy” and began searching around the docks. I went over to check it out and he had gotten a hand-cast net. The first few attempts to use it were an epic fail, bringing up no fish, then just one measly fish and a shrimp. Ian and Bailey came over and Ian demonstrated how to get it done. He spun in a circle and let go. When he pulled the net up, he probably had 30 fish in there! I didn’t even know there were that many fish hanging out under the docks. When Johnny tried Ian’s spin-move-method, he probably pulled up closer to 100 fish. We threw those ones back because what are we going to do with 130 small bait fish? You got it. Nothing.
We used what we did have for live bait. Johnny baited my line for me by just pulling the hook through the fish underneath its dorsal fin (sorry fish, tough break.) He was the first to catch a fish out of the two of us — a pretty aggressive little catfish that wasn’t going down without a fight. When Johnny went to pick him up, the fish stabbed him with one of his spikes on his fins. I learned not long after that catfish actually have some poison in their spines. Not enough to kill you, but enough to make you sorry. Johnny ran off to clean out the puncture wound and apparently, (almost) threw up. In the mean time, I hooked a nice sea trout of decent size – to me, at least. I threw him in the bucket since I figured we’d use him for research later, which I was right. Johnny showed Tania and I how to filet a fish and find what we usually keep for science reference/research. We usually keep the gonads, which made me chuckle. Mostly because of the word gonads. I couldn’t help but sing that McDonald’s commercial “give me back that filet o’ fish, give me that fiiissshhh.” Youtube it. It’s funny – especially in that context.
We sat down all together in the salon for a meeting about how this trip to St. Petersburg is going to go down. I’ll give you a 5 word synopsis: Captain Bob is the man. Basically, whatever he says goes. I would assume so since the guy did a 5 year global circumnavigation in this boat. He probably knows a thing or two about the seas, the weather, and anything else you’d want to know. Legitimately, he does. The guy’s a walking encyclopedia. Dr. Wise and Ian had some other important insights, like, what to do in an emergency. It was a good thing that Ian wanted to do a test drill because it turned out there was only one life vest in my bunk with Tania.
Took a crew photo and we were off! Sandy made baked ziti and caesar salad, which was fantastic, and most of the crew hung around in the salon watching the X-men’s Wolverine movie. My recommendation to you is to not waste your time on it. It was awful. The only positive is that it almost made me forget about being tossed around the boat and that my head felt like a bobble-head dolls. I went to bed after the movie, but it felt like I was continually being shaken awake throughout the night. I’m not sure how long I really slept.
I made it through the night without vomiting though, so there’s a positive.