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Jan 11, 2011

Close Encounters of the Trippletail Kind

While walking the dogs along the shore, I saw what I thought was a leaf floating in the water. I walked out to it, and upon closer examination discovered that it was a fish, floating on its side. I thought that it was dead and I reached out to touch it. It surprised me by flicking its tail and lazily drifting a few inches away. Obviously it was not dead, but by the sluggish way it moved and since it was only a few degrees from being completely belly up, I figured it was near death. I gave a short eulogy to the small crowd that had gathered, and Elvis and Gracie both seemed truly moved. I administered last rites and we left it to die in peace.
     Back on the dock, I described the fish to Captain Matt, who is on a first name basis with all fish, and he said that it sounded like I had seen a Trippletail, which if I had, it made me one of the lucky few because they were rarely seen.
     The next day when I took the dogs to shore, I’ll be danged if I didn’t find it for a second time! This time it was on the other side of the dock, but still close to shore, and again it was floating on its side. I touched it and it casually drifted away, with barely any noticeable movement.
     Onboard Pisces, we have a great “fish book,” so I looked up Trippletail (scientific name Lobotes surinamensis or technically Atlantic Tripletail) and sure enough, there was my little buddy. The book said that they are sluggish and often float on their sides near the surface. They are described as somewhat wary and will move away when approached. Yep, the description fit this little guy to a T.
      One day three, I looked for it and was disappointed when I didn’t find him. As the dogs and I wrapped up our walk and were heading back to the dinghy, a floating yellow leaf caught my eye so I went to investigate, and sure enough it was the same little dude!
     On day four I finally remembered to bring my camera and there he was, waiting for me by the dock. I barely even had to look for him and he willingly posed for these pictures! For me and El and Gracie to see a Trippletail four days in a row means we are lucky dogs! Someone buy us a lottery ticket!

In honor of the little Trippletail, I created a recipe for Seashell Mac & Triple Cheese, served in a Parmesan Tuile Cup. I topped it with toasted bread crumbs, but it didn't really need it, so feel free to eliminate that step. And because we are in the islands mon, and because I have a lot of Pusser's Rum on board, I spunked it up with some. You gotta try it! (FYI, you can flambe' on a boat without catching the whole thing on fire, but I would recommend having a fire extinguisher real handy. It was touch and go for a second!)  Go to the "Pastas" tab at the top of this page to view it.


  1. Mom, I think you already bought the winning loto ticket. Take a look around you, and pinch yourself. I want to be you when I grow up.

  2. Sierra, keep your nose to the grindstone, your eye on the prize and be careful what you wish for!
    ♥ Mom

  3. So glad to find this post. I've just seen a tripletail and, like you, thought it was a leaf. But then it moved and I realized it was a fish! So now I know what I've seen. Thank you! I live in Florida and the little guy is out swimming in the canal. I hope he swims back over to my side :) so I can get another look.

  4. Coastal Island Gifts...Very cool to see, hope he hangs around! Thanx for reading SdJ!