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Around the world in eighty months

12/13/2007

PHOTO GALLERY

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Their ship is, above all, a fishing vessel (as this view of the tackle room attests) and it will be the fishing that ultimately dictates the crew's direction. Depending on the season, these rods will be bowing to stripers around New Zealand's Three Kings Islands, wahoo from the Johnston Atoll, black marlin near Madagascar, tarpon in Angola, tuna off Ghana.

They're also facing the possibility that many of the fisheries they're hammering will be, in effect, virgin — beyond what sport fishermen can reach, too far for commercial fishermen to bother, so ostensibly out of range for most of humanity.

"You don't call somebody up and call for help," Fischer says. "You have to be completely self-sustaining." That requires a versatile crew: underwater welders who can fix plumbing, machinists who know how to handle tackle. "Plus," Fischer says, "I'm a pretty loose guy, so I like guys who can do their job and can hang out and have a couple of beers at the end of the night."

McBride tells the story of an expedition he was on at age 21, in Ketchikan, Alaska, where he hunted for fish by first hunting down fishermen at the local bars. "Next thing you know, I'm coming back with all these lures and spots, things like that," McBride says. "The captain I was with was like, 'You can go drink any time you want.'"

Speaking of, if you look closely on the wall just left of center in this photo, you can see the blue handle of the boat's keg tap.

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