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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Wiggins Catch a 1000-lb Tuna!

I was calling it a shotgun wedding because Andrew gave his bride Anastasia a gun as a wedding gift. But I have since been informed that said gun was a rifle; not a shotgun. She is already looking forward to deer hunting season.

The day after the wedding, the new couple parked their dogs at Grandma’s house (amid a few tears) and headed off on their honeymoon. A few hours later I got a text from New Brunswick. The bride was getting pretty excited; she had never seen the ocean before. I was just thrilled to get a text; I’m a bit of a worrywart and was concerned their little Cavalier wouldn’t make it the whole way to the Maritimes. Or they wouldn’t make it, due to a lack of air conditioning. That first night, they slept in a Best Western, where they were treated to free drinks due to their newlywed status.

Next stop, P.E.I. I think they ate their weight in seafood. Half of their photos are of plates heaped with lobster, mussels and the like. They slept in a 14 by 14 foot tent on the beach in Panmure Island, P.E.I.

It rained over 50 mm on their trip; more than we’ve had in Eastern Ontario in months, I think. But they had a fabulous time and on the one or two sunny days, they managed to get sunstroke and burnt their faces.

The seal-watching tour only turned up one seal who did a quick swim-by. But Anastasia and Andrew were content to be on the ocean, by the ocean, and collecting sand dollars, starfish and shells from the ocean.

On the fourth day of their trip, they had booked a tuna fishing charter. I warned them to take Gravol, the night before and the morning of the trip. I didn’t want the bride falling into the ocean, seasick. North Lake Charters took them out and three hours later I got this text message: “Mom. We just caught a 1000-lb tuna.” I thought for sure her thumb had slipped and added a zero to the weight. But no, they caught a 1000-lb tuna. If the tuna had been caught in season (it wasn’t), it would have been worth approximately $10,000, the captain informed them. Typically, the value is divided between the boat and the fishermen. It could have paid for their whole wedding! But alas, it was a catch-and-release situation. They got photos, and a video on YouTube. And some great memories.

After wrestling a giant tuna fish for several hours in turn, the young couple were tired, sore and ready for home. They cruised back through New Brunswick, took some photos of the Hopewell Rocks and drove straight through, arriving at 4 in the morning. The dogs, Rupert and Berretta, were extremely happy to see them.

We were treated to a lobster dinner the night of their return, and the appetizer at Sunday dinner this week was fresh mussels. I showed Anastasia an old video on YouTube of Mrs. Wiggins and Mr. Tudball, played by Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. She is “Mrs. A-Wiggins” now.

The Farmer was in fine form, telling the newlyweds to ‘let him know’ when grandchildren are coming. “I can fit four on the ATV but if you plan to have more, I’ll buy a trailer,” he joked.

The next thing on the agenda is a house or a car, whichever comes first. If Anastasia’s Cavalier dies, that will be it. But they will soon outgrow that little house they are renting, so I’m hoping that the carpenter and his lady find a new place to call home sometime soon.

This marriage is off to a good start. They aren’t your typical couple, with no TV and very little access to computers or other technology, but they have their own way of doing things and they are very happy. I told them that fish are ‘auspicious’ or lucky, in Asia. Many homes and most big businesses have ponds full of giant goldfish for this very reason. If there is any truth to that, Andrew and Anastasia have just been visited by 1000 pounds of good luck.

And you can bet Andrew, who has never been much of a fisherman, is now researching when giant bluefin tuna are in season in P.E.I., so they can plan their next trip.

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