Updated: Apr 27
The charter boat was racing through the crystal blue waves of the North Pacific Ocean and gaining speed on the big fish under the surface racing away one hundred meters ahead of the vessel in pursuit. Slow down the engine, it's time to wear him down. John Martin adjusted the beige cross bone hat on his head. His long white hair was mixed with his own sweat and the salt from the sea water. His deep blue eyes scanning the ocean like those of a hawk, John was looking for signs of fatigue in the blue marlin after having wrestled with the sea creature for more than two hours. His son Leif was continuously pouring water on the reel of the sports fishing rod to keep the thick fishing line from overheating from the pure power that the blue marlin had demonstrated so far in this epic battle with his father. He looked at his father now. John Martin was leaning forward. The hard muscles in his arm were trembling after hours of strain. He was strapped in the fishing chair and his bare upper body was drenched in sweat. It was 1996 and the summer holidays had just started. John had taken his son for a three weeks trip to Hawaii. Sadly for Lei, his adventure in Hawaii was coming to an end. He was eighteen years old and already taller than his father but leaner in build. His skin was already burned to the color of fine tobacco and the blond hair on his head, shining from the constant exposure of the Hawaiian sun. There! Can you see him dad? The sound waves from the young man's voice was clear. The sound went futher out and also entered the ocean. The sound waves continued to penetrate the endless blue liquid and seconds later reached the big fish. The beautiful blue Kaijiki was strong. His belly was was the color of silver and the strong torso stood out as he gathered his strength to make a leap. The big circled hook had penetrated the mouth and had dug itself deep into the skin and every time the marlin tried to shake it out it went even deeper. He felt the pain now. When he had attacked the stream of small fishes that swam together in a small cluster, the hook had been hidden and he had gone all in on the bait. This was not the first time the marlin had been caught on a fishing hook but he had managed to shake the hooks loose from his mouth and escaped from harm every time. These experiences had made the marlin careful. His weight had grown the last years and his weight was now six hundred kg. But today he was very hungry and had thrown caution to the wind and went after the bait although it had a different appearance from the other fish he usually ate. He had traveled from Bahamas to the crystal waters of the North Pacific and found the waters to his liking. The returning pressure on the line slowly drained him. The marlin wanted to see what caused him this bad nagging pain. He propelled upwards and broke the surface cleanly and vaulted into the air. Reflected by the sun, his dark blue skin sparkled and he was truly beautiful. The tip of his front spear seemed endless. There. He located the boat in his vision. The creature was brown with white hair. The marlin knew instinctively that the tall man standing tall on the boat and looking at him was the true source of his pain. John Martin looked into the eyes of the enormous fish and understood. The blue marlin had looked him straight in the eye and had recognized John as his pursuer. Leif shook his head in wonder. That is the biggest marlin I have ever seen dad. What a beast! His father did not respond and it seemed like he was lost in a dream. Leif looked at his father sharply. Father? He is magnificent. John had spoken slowly but his son had heard the tone in his father's voice. Leif understood that his father spoke in respect of the fish. But there was also sadness. Suddenly his father sprung to action. He shouted to the skipper Athula to stop the engine. His order was obeyed as Athula slowed the boat to a halt. Ok fish. Let's see what you got! John then barked at his son. Leif, keep that line frosty. Keep the water coming. We are not gonna loose him now, John Martin took a big sip from the water bottle at the small side table and then sipped the vodka based drink that Athula had created earlier. The line had slowed down now. He started to reel in the line, There was no wind and the sea was quiet. Leif watched as the great white shark passed by the boat. There is a shark here dad. His voice was eager. Ok said his father. Don't mind the shark. Keep the water coming. The great white shark had reacted to the commotion and felt the stress from the marlin through his system. The opponent was big. Much larger than the marlins, the shark had fought before, but the shark registered that the marlin was in distress and smelled a rare opportunity. Slowly the great white shark started to circle the blue marlin that also now knew it was being hunted from another predator that the marlin knew all too well. In a even fight the marlin would have a good chance because of his agility and advantage in speed and movement. Leif watched the shark as it slowly went submerged deeper into the water. He is going for our marlin dad! John then cursed. Start the boat. Athula started it up and the boat started to move. I am going to give you line my friend so you can fight this fucking shark. You can beat that monster any day. I am sure of it. He spoke to the marlin in a loving way. John opened the lock on the line, in the fishing rod and when he did, the marlin felt it and responded by turning lighting fast to the left to avoid the attack from the shark that shot upwards from the deeper sea. The marlin ducked the sharp teeth by a whisk, then used the momentum in the water that the shark had created and then followed the great white. The great white broke the surface and seemed to hang frozen in the air. At the same time the front spear of the marlin broke through the blue water and found it's target. It penetrated the shark's belly just as the great white was turning in mid air. The great marlin spear went clean through the body of the shark. Then, it turned in the air above the shark before they both smashed down into the ocean and were covered in the white foam that now floated on top of the waves, springing outwards from the small explosion that the sea predators had created. Wow. Did you see that dad? Yeah son, I saw it. Holy shit. That marlin just became my personal hero. John shook his head in disbelief. Do you think he is winning dad? I really hope so. I really do. John was looking at the ocean. The reel was spinning like crazy. He would soon run out of line but he barely registered it. Athula, what do you think? The skipper looked serious. He had fished the waters since he was a boy and now scratched his black, straight hair and started to roll a cigarette from his personal tobacco pouch. Seconds later he put a perfect cylinder-shaped cigarette in his mouth and lit it with a broken match. My money is on the marlin, he said. Mine too, shouted Leif. We must do something dad. His father took out the big knife from it's sheet that he always kept in his belt when hunting. He swung the knife in a fluid motion and then the knife came down towards the fishing line and cut it. There fish! You are free to fight the monster. I hope you fucking win! Meanwhile under the water, the marlin was using all his strength to break free from the shark. They were spinning downwards and the shark was mortally injured but it still flapped the mighty tail that kept hitting the marlin with devastating blows in it's body. They continued the decent towards the deep. The marlin was very tired now but gathered all his might and drove the spear deeper into the great white, started a spinning motion and allowed his front to come out clean from the body of the shark. Other sharks were now approaching fast and as the marlin swam upwards from the dying predator, it was shaking from exertion. It continued the uprising from the depths and finally broke the surface. When the brave blue marlin broke the surface it was only ten meters from their boat and John watched the magnificent fish with Athula and his son, while it flew into the air and spiraled. I guess he won said Athula, and smiled.
It was late in the afternoon when the charter boat arrived at the docks and Athula readied the boat for the next day of work. After a drink they said their goodbyes. Leif hugged the old sailor that he had grown very fond of. The love was returned from Athula.
After returning to the rented hut situated in the charming Kona district to freshen up, both father and son were ravenous with hunger and decided to eat at the restaurant called The Killer. The Michelin star restaurant was very popular, but John had booked the place on arrival. He had first heard about this blond Norwegian chef Miranda Ruud that was the owner of the place in a dinner party at the Four seasons, while working on a project in London from his other associates and had remembered before this vacation with Leif.
On arrival the table was ready for them and when seated, the father and his son took in the light atmosphere in the buzzling restaurant. The waiters were smooth and knew their business. John went for the grilled tuna, accompanied with chili, tomatoes, smoked potatoes, topped off with the local variant of a sexy salsa. The melted butter and local herbs elevated the meal to a higher level of pure sunshine. Leif decided on the mega burger menu. They had skipped the starter and began with the main course. John had ordered a fine Pauillac that the efficient waiter decanted before serving. Leif had just turned eighteen and although he had drunk plenty of spirits with his classmates and partied, his knowledge of the world of wines was limited. Leif lived with his mother in Oslo, Norway and her preferred choice of drink was beer. The waiter went through the characteristics and age of the wine and then left them to enjoy. What's up with this wine business dad? John smiled and grabbed the slim wineglass. First you have to understand the basics son. Say that you have a date right? Ok. Leif smiled his big naughty smile. John looked at the boy. Jesus, the boy is now a man, he thought to himself. Was it already twenty years ago since he had met the boy's mother? John snapped out of this memories. Ok son! The way you interact with girls to have a good time and great sex is probably beer and weed, A powerful combo indeed. This is your current approach right? Leif looked surprised. How did you know? John cleared his palate. I have also been your age my boy. He continued. Imagine that you show up with quality wine and weed instead! It will also give you a very different buzz from the weed. Really, how's that? The young man showed real interest. Now he had the boy's complete attention. Leif had been looking at a local girl that was sitting to their left. Attractive girl, John noted. His son had good taste. My boy. Quality wine will enhance the flavor in a subtle way but it will also give you a journey that only a great wine can offer. Do you smoke weed dad?, Leif asked. Yeah I actually own a weed farm! Fuck dad. You do? Yes son. Anyway, back to the wine. John laughed. Let me know the next time you need some real shit. Leif was taking this new info in stride. Are you like a smuggler? he asked. No son, nothing like that. I will tell you more about the weed when we share the joint in my pocket later. Leif's eyes widened then he had another swig of the wine glass and poured more of the elixir into his fathers glass. Tell me more about this wine business dad. Does it have to be expensive? John shook his head to this ageless question. No but it has to be made from a good stock of grapes, which again are determined by the terroir, which basically means where the grapes are grown. Also, what the weather was like, the soil, minerals and so on while the grapes were grown and their individual qualities were being shaped. The temperature plays a special party of wine making and that's why it's possible even for a boy your age to distinguish certain wines from others with practice. And the barrels in which the wine is eventually stored and the length of the time the grape juice rests in their barrels, determines the final taste of the wine. Anyway, if you learn more about wine, you will understand the world better and will definitely heighten your appeal towards the more sophisticated girls, The young man seemingly took all this new information in stride. The way he viewed his father had forever changed.
Take a sip of the wine and let it roll around in your mouth. Treat it like you would treat a woman's clitoris. Leif did what his father suggested. His father had always been different but the shit he was telling Leif now was slowly blowing the young man's head. After swirling the wine around in his mouth like his father had shown him earlier during their trip, he swallowed and tried to really get the feel of the wine. Taste the food, John said with a knowing smile. Leif tasted the burger, now being served seamlessly by the waiter. The food tastes even better with wine, his son exclaimed and had another mouthful. Leif was now smitten with the discovery of the red wine and the mysteries that slowly had been unveiled to him by his father. He drank more and greedily took another another bite of the burger. Damn dad. From now I drink only wine. John laughed and leaned back but was interrupted by the beautiful blond woman standing by their table. I am am the owner of The Killer but also the head chef. I trust the food is good? She looked jokingly at Leif who's face was half buried into the burger. It's really something. You are Miranda right? Call me Missy, Everyone does. Her skin was exquisite and cool to the touch. Their fingers stretched and their hands joined. Nice to meet you. I am John Martin and this primitive creature is my son, Leif. Great. Nice to meet you both. She leaned into John's ear and whispered. Try the caramelized ice cream. It's a killer. She went on to greet the other customers, conversing happily. The cool breeze lifted her golden locks and the hair danced around her shoulders effortlessly. Her black dress had an open back that left John slightly breathless. He watched Missy as she worked her charms on a family from Mexico. Wow. Leif was stunned. That woman sure is pretty.
They continued to talk about Leif's plans for the holidays with his mother. They were going to the north of Norway for the rest of the summer. Then Leif started talking about their marlin adventure. The dessert was served while they relived every second of the drama. John had really enjoyed his main course. The fish was excellently grilled and he was sad that the time with his son was coming to and end. Leif was a smart boy with a eager mind. He was also a very good looking lad that already understood how to enjoy the opposite sex in more ways than one. It was a great fish with a true heart, John looked at his son and seemed sad again. I just hope he managed to get rid of the fish hook.
I am sure he did, nodded Leif. That fish was tough! The dessert was fantastic and as father and son happily chatted away, the hours flew by. Missy joined their table before closing time and dropped John her phone number. If you want to hang out sometime this week, it would be cool.
Dad, you are just too much. His son was laughing afterwards when they walked the beach together. I mean, that woman is just a bit older than me. They smoked the joint with premium weed and chilled in the sand. They watched the waves together and got waisted.
After he had seen his son board the plane that would take Leif home to Norway, John went to the meeting scheduled at three, in the next afternoon. It was the true reason for the vacation and him choosing Hawaii as their vacation spot. He had heard that the government in Finland was offering big underground spaces below Helsinki for sale, to certain companies, if the price was right. The two men were waiting for him on his arrival in the beach bar by the ocean. They were both every bit the greedy political monsters that John had been hoping they'd be. They looked ordinary in their identical suits. Both men were almost bald. Their command of the English language was rather poor but it slowly got the job done. The meeting was laid back and the politicians kept ordering tequila. They did not notice that John was not drinking alcohol. It certainly looked like he was drinking vodka but he did not bother to tell them. John got the information he needed from the men and a month later he bought 4000 square meters of underground space in Helsinki.