January 30

Last night, Zhoel made a new friend on the beach (as he does). Vittorio is an Italian guy who currently lives in Chicago, but has taken a sabbatical from the stress of his job to travel around the world. He has been having some major health problems due to the stress of his lifestyle, but he said in the several weeks that he has been traveling he has lost weight, gotten more exercise and decreased his stress level exponentially. Zhoel invited him to join us for a fishing expedition this morning, but it turned out to be an all day activity. Vittorio was great company and he taught us a lot. This was his last day on North Island and we took him to some of our favorite fishing spots. We weren’t having luck until he intimated that he was interested in catching octopus. Zhoel and I were surprised to learn that Italians love to eat octopus! We took him down to the pontoon where I had caught my octopus. Within a half hour Vittorio had caught not only an octopus, but also a nonlegal kingfish!

We brought Vittorio back to Zhoel’s folks house where he cooked us octopus for dinner.

I had never had it before and found it to be surprisingly good. It must be plunged into boiling water three times to curl the tentacles then you boil it for 20 minutes and let it rest in water for another 15 minutes. Finally, you slice it into pieces and serve warm with lemon. It is a bit chewy on the outside, but I found the inside to have a taste and texture similar to lobster (believe it or not). Vittorio is keeping a travel blog via Facebook, here is the link. He was lovely and I hope that he is able to keep calm and fish on.

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