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Old 01-06-2009, 20:32   #1
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Ever Been Hit by a Flying Fish?

I not sure what the odds are on getting hit by a flying fish, but I reckon they are pretty slim.

So, I'm on the night watch as we are sailing the 800 odd nautical miles from Guatemala to Florida last week. I was being pretty lazy on my watch and only really looking around every 3-5 minutes or so... it was the middle of the night and there was nothing to see. The radar confirmed this with a blank screen showing 24 nautical miles of empty ocean in all four major directions. Still, it's our procedure to keep an active look out for lights. Keeping with procedure I step outside for a futile look in to the deep darkness of a moonless night, then WHAM a flying fish SMACKS me in the chest. Somehow Mr. Fish made his statistically unlikely way through the small window flap in front of the steering wheel and smacks me at the particular moment I happen to be standing there. Whoa! And I utter a major "What the heck was that"? or at least something similar... use your imagination. It's pitch dark at the moment, I reactivity grab at my chest like a gun shot victim, having no idea what just happened. I touch slime and my imagination runs wild for a few seconds. Is this a nightmare, I'm try to think rationally, but the situation scream wildly with sleep depraved manic thoughts of alien attacks or giant squid. With a substantial amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins, I turn on my head lamp to the relief of JUST a flying fish flopping on the deck. Whew, it's all good . Just a wet slimy fish spot including more than a few scales on my shirt. Darn if I didn't just laugh out loud for thinking I'd just been attacked some sea monster or aliens.

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Old 01-06-2009, 20:39   #2
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I was taking a leak over the side of a fishing boat in the Coral Sea some years ago and one hit me right in the pecker. Gave me the fright of my life I can tell ya. Must be something strange about me, I also had a pigs trotter fall on my head once. I figured it was being carried by a gull and it got too heavy so found the nearest target to bomb.


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Old 01-06-2009, 20:59   #3
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I got a close encounter, while smoking a cigarrette on the stern of a sailboat about 15 years ago.
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:12   #4
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Never been hit with a flying fish but have found several below decks that managed fly in through a hatch. What really got me was a sea gull. Had just got to sleep after a 12-4 am watch when the mate called me on deck. Said he heard a loud, metallic twang sound. We inspected all the rigging, looked all around and found nothing so I told him to keep a sharp watch, check the rig occasionally and call me if he saw anything. Went back to my bunk and was just about back asleep when I rolled over and felt something warm and fuzzy. First thing I thought was rat and launched myself up the companionway while simultaneously launching the fuzzy thing in the opposite direction. When I could breathe again I reached in (carefully) and turned on the cabin lights to see a very befuddled seagull sitting on my bunk. We figured the twang sound was the gull hitting the rig or mast in the dark which knocked him out of the air and eventually he ended up on my bunk.

Set him on the stern (again carefully, these guys have sharp beaks) and in the morning he was gone.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:16   #5
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I have never been personally hit by a flying fish, but we did have a major attack of flying fish on our catamaran Exit Only out in the Indian Ocean.

At about 3 am, thousands of flying fish started attacking our hull. There was continual drumming of the fish on the side of the hull caused by fish bouncing off the side of the boat. I took a spotlight and looked over the side, and there were hundreds of flying fish swimming alongside the boat and launching themselves into the air. For nearly an hour the flying fish continued their assault on Exit Only.

That's the only time in our eleven year circumnavigation that we had an hour long flying fish attack.

Here is a video of the attack of the flying fish on youtube:
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:39   #6
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I was sailing a Lightning when a mullet hit me as he jumped into the boat.
I believe several people have been injured riding in fast boats which were hit by some sort of Asian Carp 8-10 lb fish which jump high out of the water.
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Old 01-06-2009, 22:42   #7
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Been hit by flying fish and squid on a crossing. The squid leave lota of little black spots on the deck.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:12   #8
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On a south pacific crossing, I had been reading a book about giant squids and at that time there was some speculation going around that they might have been responsible for sinking ships. Later that night sailing along on a nice broad reach, this thick wet slimy thing slapped me in the side of the face and I liked to have messed myself, my mind went immediately to a giant squid wrapping it's tentacles around the vessel intent on bring me down to Davy Jones's locker. But Noooooo! it was just a big flying fish flopping around the cockpit, I flipped him over the side and laughed at myself for several days.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:38   #9
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I've been hit twice on offshore passages--once in the chest and once on the leg. Both times were at night, when I was at the wheel. It scares the $#&! out of you, 'cause you're kind of in a zen state, grooving with the boat and the ocean, feeling the rythm of the swells and the pull of the wind. And then, WHAM! Followed by, flapflapflapflapflap all around your feet. The adreneline gets pumping!
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:25   #10
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No - but I was slapping along at about 25 knots on a sailboard off Western Australia and a couple of them shot out of the water right beside me and flew along with me for probably 5 or so seconds - scared the hell out of me at first. They were about a foot long and I could have almost grabbed them.
Love the journey!
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:45   #11
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Look on the bright side, Free Bait or, any body tried flying fish sashimi?
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:52   #12
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Never been hit by a fish but about a month ago comming up the chesapeake bay south of the bridge I had a small golded finch land on my shoulder. stayed there for only 10 sec or so then sat on a cushion for 15 minutes for a rest
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:07   #13
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Beware Flying Yellowtail

In the mid-1980's we were temporarily forced to relocate our boat from the basin at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club to the downtown Marina in Long Beach, Ca, while some repairs were done to our docks. One Saturday afternoon after some pals and I had come back from a sail, we were standing on the finger pier next to my boat schmoozing when the water around the yacht began to roil as a huge school of Yellowtail zoomed around the boat and pier. In the fairway we could see a couple of fins racing back and forth but we weren't sure if they were dolphins or sharks. Suddenly, a fin veared directly toward us and a second later a large Amberjack launched himself out of the water and smashed in the chest of the fellow standing next to me. The victom was knocked to the deck and the fish fell, flopping, onto the finger pier. Our other pal, standing behind me, took one look at this and did a flying leap past me, landing on top of the fish, which he fought to a stand-still.

Once our wounded comrad recovered himself, he and our fish wrestler carried the fish--a good 15 to 20 lbs of him--up to the kitchen door of the restaurnt overlooking the inner basin and negotiated a trade--one fish for three grilled fish dinners and all the beer we could drink! It worked out well for everyone--but the Yellowtail!

s/v HyLyte..
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:43   #14
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Had a couple of Boobies sailing with the boat one night for an extended period of time. Kept swooping along the Mainsail.... must have liked the draft created or something. Finally one ran right into the sail hard and slid down the fabric all the way to the boom and landed on the cabin top! The he flew away. Go figure!
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:47   #15
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Before he did that, Cheech, did you hear him squawk anything that sounded like, "Hey, Bubba, watch this!" ?


"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
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