On Wednesday of last week Johan Terblanche pushed me into the sea from the marina of San Sebastian. This was shortly after Impi had tied up after a day out on the ocean. I knew I had it coming and so took my medicine philosophically and hit the water, fully clothed, but with a commendably stiff upper lip.

Why did he do it?

It is, I am told, a tradition that an angler who boats their first marlin gets to take a dip in the ocean when the boat gets back to harbour. I had been told about this on the flybridge as we were trolling our lures. We had had an early start that day and, to my delight, I had succeeded in catching my first blue marlin pretty quickly. The fish was taken to the stern of the boat and released unharmed a little before 10 that morning.

When Mark and Johan pointed out that there was a long-established custom of throwing a first time marlin catcher into the drink I figured that there could be one of two possible explanations for this assertion. The first of these possibilities was simply that such a tradition does indeed exist. It certainly sounds plausible enough.

The second possibility was that the guys had just made all of this stuff up and that they found me to be such an irritating boat companion that chucking me into the sea in the marina might be a good source of amusement for all. It would at least be less troublesome than heaving me overboard while we were out at sea.

I am too sensitive to deal with the implications of that second possibility and I have decided NOT to investigate whether horsing a marlin first timer into the ocean is really what happens. Let´s just hope that it is true!

As it happens, my dunking was carried out in an orderly manner. Johan asked me if there was anything like a phone in my pocket that I should hand over. He did not ask me if I had any final words, which is reassuring in retrospect. He asked Carel to film the whole episode. I presume that it was filmed because the governing body of international marlin fishers should request evidence of compliance with protocol.

Then, before I knew it I was taking a rather close first hand look at the marlin´s own habitat.

I saw a little episode on social media yesterday which was a short excerpt from the Irish evening TV news. It showed a walrus (yes a walrus!) in Ardmore Bay in Waterford that clambered out of the sea and decided to haul up onto a moored inflatable boat which seemed little bigger than the walrus itself. It first poked its head out of the sea and decided that the boat looked suitably comfy and then it threw its great neck and then its flipper over the inflated tube. Then it wriggled and twisted, pushing the boat down into the water before finally dragging the rest of its body over the edge and flopping heavily inside. This walrus, Wally, is a kind of local celebrity. He´ll do anything for attention.

When I saw the Wally footage I immediately recognised the technique employed by the walrus. It was exactly the same elegantly choreographed manoeuvre that I myself had used to gracefully extract myself from the ocean and onto the swim platform of Imri!

Who am I to stand in the way of tradition?
I could give Wally a run for his money!