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At 0510 this morning the VHF woke up and began to speak in tongues. At least that’s what was happening in my dream

At 0511 I realized that 1) I wasn’t dreaming; and 2) It was’t tongues but Spanish.

At 0512 I was having a gam with Ramone, the captain of the fishing vessel Bartuiero. They are long-lining for swordfish and Ramone’s initial radio call was to inform me that they were shooting line and I might encounter their buoys.

Turns out that the her home port is Madrid, Spain. That’s right: Madrid. And if you think that I’ll be out a long time, their trips are between 6 and 8 months long. In the past 22 months, Ramone has been home for 4.

There are 2 officers, 3 engineers and 15 deckhands aboard. They fish 24/7 rain or shine and fhey are fishing the Pacific because, in Ramone’s words, “North Atlantic, not so good. South Atlantic, not so good.”

Besides from coming across them at all, the most surprising thing to me was the makeup of the crew. They are from Mozambique, Senegal, the Philippines, and Indonesia. No wonder I was dreaming tongues.

Here’s my point. These are incredibly hard working men doing a thankless job in an unforgiving environment that takes them away from their families for months. I would venture that none of this comes to mind when any one of us sees swordfish on the menu. However, the next time you do, think of what it took to get it there. And if you’re so inclined, offer up a prayer for the safe return to family and loved ones for the Bartuieros this world.

If you look really hard in this picture, you won’t see her. Neither did I. But this is the view in their direction this morning during our radio conversation.

Follow my tracks in real-time:


  • Claude
    Posted at 20:39h, 29 March Reply

    In weather like today having a fellow partner would make the difference of the world.

    Heavy weather conditions are great only when you have enough energy to enjoy it. I wish you the time of your life.

  • Tony Yanca
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 April Reply

    Hi Bert, I came across your voyage on looking for more positive and up-beat news in the world today. As we continue to try to isolate ourselves looking to conquer this extremely serious virus, you’re essentially isolated fighting the elements of Ocean Blue. I’m a surfer in Southern California and I’m always intrigued by extremely passionate individuals who take on these adventures, especially when it involves the ocean. I’m currently listening to some Reggae and enjoying a Pale Ale from our local brewery 🙂 Our Family is healthy and I’ll be working from home tomorrow, but will continue to follow your voyage rooting you on the whole way through. I wish you safe passage and pray that you will utilize all that you’ve learned to help you endure the many obstacles that come your way. You will make complete this voyage and I look forward to your future posts. Take care of yourself.


  • John T.Rice
    Posted at 04:06h, 06 April Reply

    Be safe..pulling for you!

  • Susan Conway Gray
    Posted at 05:56h, 06 April Reply

    What an incredible journey you have set up for yourself!
    I find your reflection on the coronavirus to be incredibly insightful.
    Self isolation as a time to reflect on what we want to become, what legacy we choose to leave behind.
    To many that level of self introspection will appear daunting and even impossible.
    To truly examine our minds, behaviors, and motivations while holding them into the light through the prism of our souls is an exercise most would not have the courage to do.
    But I hope some will take up that challenge.
    Good luck to you!

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