Aboard the Azteca 6

We recently had an opportunity to spend a day on the Tuna Seiner Azteca 6 just off the coast of Mazatlan. I can’t believe that neither Bob or I will forget this day anytime soon.

We are picked up off the beach by a fishing panga and taken out to the ship, waiting for us about 2 miles offshore. We have this opportunity because they have just repaired the drive shaft to a main winch and they need to make sure the system works properly before they head out to catch tuna . To make sure it works they need to set the nets and then pull them back in exactly as they would do in a real fishing situation.

This story is not going to unfold quickly ( I took 148 pictures), so let’s get at it:

After about 10 minute ride in the Panga we arrive at the 70 meter (210 feet) long ship. We come up along side and climb the ladder up to the main deck.

We are welcomed on the boat by Adan and his crew of 25 and head off to  start a tour of the ship. What better place to start then the kitchen.

Here’s the other half of it, the dining area:

Next, the engine room and the  20 cylinder diesel. This motor is bigger than a 5 ton truck. Not just the truck motor, I mean the whole truck!

The Azteca 6 can carry 1200 tons ( yes, I said twelve hundred tons of fish in it’s two giant refrigerated wells. Here we are walking down the center of the hold, between those wells. Baby, it’s cold  in here.

Where do you want to go next? How about the storage wells we talked about?

The fish come down from the deck in the sluices you see on the left into the wells down the middle. They are then cooled with sea water mixed with the salt (from the Guerro Negro area of the Baja) you see in the bags. The fish freezes in the wells while the water continues to flow around them keeping the fish seperated.

Let’s get some fresh air.When they are fishing there are two men stationed in the tower. Their job is to sight the schools of Tuna. Apparently, on a clear day,they can often spot a school of Atun’s (Tuna) 15 miles or more miles away. Where there are Tuna, there are Dolphins. You can go up and have a look if you want. I’ll wait for you down here.

Just climb that ladder. I’ll bet you love the view! When you get down we’ll check out the bridge.

That’s Adan, the ship manager you see here showing Bob around. They have the captain squished in the corner there, peppering him with questions. I have never seen so many computers, GPS’s, radios and electronic gear as you see here. there is millions of dollars of electronics up here.

OK that’s  enough for today. When we come back, how about we start with a helicoper ride up and around the ship a few times. Then after that we’ll launch the 6 speed boats (they’ll all do 70 mph in the open sea). After that we’ll put out and set one mile of net, then bring it back it, meter by meter, and make sure everything works like it should.

Before we go though: Adan, thank you again  for an absolutely amazing day.

8 thoughts on “Aboard the Azteca 6

  1. WOW!! Larry did I enjoy ‘this read’ and the pictures, as well as your commentary.
    How fortunate you two fellows were to be able to experience this – it is not what you know, but who you know!!

    P.S. Marilyn, you mail went out today.

  2. Larry, you keep this ‘wonderful’ touring, commentary and photo opps, coming down the blog, a speciality TV network just might hire you away from Sicard’s….such talent!!!! I mean it!!!

  3. Hi Brian. Like you, we see a lot of interesting stuff in our travels. But somedays you stumble on a big one! I’m still excited.

  4. Hi Barb. You’re enjoying it! Imagine being on the other end of the camera. I won’t be forgetting this day for a while.

  5. Once in a lifetime is right. I wish I had you, and all the rest of my family with me. It was (and still is) amazing!

  6. Wow… what a trip! I wanna go on a big tuna fishing boat, too! My first job out of high school was on a commercial salmon and halibut rig, off the Oregon coast. Loved every day, and have always thought it’d be fun to see how other fish are caught. Thanks for these photos and your commentary. Lee

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