Looks like we were both worried for nothing. As the guys traded turns relieving themselves off the side of the boat, I began to wonder what the hell I was doing there. Then, while I awaiting a slow death, Captain Gavet cheerfully told me the story of dead bodies he'd come upon during his years as one of Southern Florida 's only fulltime guides. One scenario featured me hunched over the rail and green with nausea. But eventually, after 40 minutes, I managed to get the pound, 7-foot monster up to the side of the boat, where we cut the line and let it go, as mandated by law. The congratulatory hoots and hollers around me were inaudible echoes competing with the sound of my own thumping heart. But I had already decided I wasn't up for the challenge and would crumble under the pressure -- not pressure from Doug, but from myself.
April. Age: 21.
The strength of the midday Miami sun managed to calm me down a little, but the test I knew I might have to face was still heavy on my mind.
Eleanor. Age: 21.
We've had massive tarpon get eaten by bulls and hammers right at the side of our boat. As we left the cushioned shoreline of Miami Beach, the smiling manatees and inquisitive pelicans I'd seen in postcards were not enough to calm my nerves. As I screamed in pain from the shredding of my triceps, Gavet offered to take the rod, but I knew in that moment that this fish was mine, and I would have to fight it alone.