posted by Lisa

This morning at our little protected beach at Poipu, one minute, Finn was drawing a line in the sand:

to protect the digging from the building:

and the next there was a large fish darting lightening quick around the swimming area. The tide was going out, and the water was only a few feet deep, and we could all see its muscular form cutting through the water with astonishing clarity (though less so in this picture):

It’s very common to see a good range of fish in there, but this one was big and dark and sharp-finned and it swam with dizzying speed, zipping from one end of the pool to the other, in spirals and circles, Something had chased it in, and it couldn’t get out.

I thought it was a baby shark.

But a lifeguard (they’re all amazing here, full of any information you want to know about the sea and its creatures) who had just returned from doing something that lifeguards do in the open water, took one look at it and said, “Tuna.”

He instructed one of the dads who was standing around gawking to corral it, scare it really, into the shallowest water, up near the sand, and with not much effort, when the fish was pretty much cornered the dad grabbed the fish–a really beautiful yellowtail–by the tail, and hauled it up out of the water.

I thought he was going to throw it back, but while we were all standing around gawking at its big black eyes and bright yellow fins, and beautiful blueish scales, the guard said, “Want me to filet it up for you? Make some sashimi?”

Well, the dad didn’t think twice, and I felt equal amounts of sorrow and, well, envy. It was a gorgeous fish, and it seemed so wrong and sad to kill it. But I also sort of wished that Kory had been the one to catch it. Or me. It was about 12 pounds, so not at all large as yellowfin go. Kory said, “Well, there’s tons of them out there, and it swam in here.” But that seemed to me not the point. I thought, too, well the guard hadn’t thought twice about it…

So it goes.

The guard carried it up, packed it on ice, a few hours later, Kory and Ella and I had the best bite of sashimi we’ll probably ever taste, standing not 5 feet from where that fish was pulled from the water.