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TIM SMITH ON ASSIGNMENT IN THE PACIFIC- THE TECHNOLOGICAL WONDER

Locked, loaded and ready for action! As the Excel nears the fertile waters of Clarion Island, Tim takes us through the last of the crew's tackle prep and gives us a tour of the boat's engine room and mechanical systems.
By Tim C. Smith
Tags: special

The smell of bacon was in the air as Chef Jason was in the galley preparing his hometown breakfast favorite, the "Oki Special"; bacon fried rice with with a couple of fried eggs on top.

In about 15 hours we should arrive at the yellowfin hot spot known as the "Buffer Zone"; an area about seven miles off the protected island of Clarion. This marine sanctuary is part of Mexico and is home to abundant coral reefs and sea life.

From an east coast point of view, the Excel may appear like any other big party boat, but when you look closer she is a technological wonder. Brandon Wilske is the Excel's engineer and is responsible for the systems that keep her running smoothly, including the three main engines.

I can tell you first hand that there are no party boats back east with the comfort level of these long range fishing boats. From the well appointed staterooms, to the refreshing air conditioning, no creature comforts are overlooked.

As we work our way closer to Clarion Island, we make a small detour to a Costa Rican fishing vessel. Free trade is alive and well on the high seas and a barter of cervesas and cigarettes was enough for fresh swordfish to feed 30 hungry fishermen. Talk about a deal!

It won't be long now before the first yellowfin is over the rail.