"You see a buoy out there?" he says softly, toward the broad back of his friend Scott Allan, who stands at the bow, watching the sea. Scott is large, John Wayne large, with a mechanic's sure and heavy hands. His right hand bears the tattoo of a huge hook embedded in flesh; his left, a compass rose. A third tattoo, etched onto his neck, takes the shape of gills. They make a curious pair: the lifetime explosives specialist, buttoned down but game, and the bear-size, tattooed mechanic who could shove his way into a Harley Davidson ad. But the sea is a binding force. Together these men chase fish through the waters that wrap around Cape Cod--bass and blues, cod and haddock, tuna and thresher sharks--with an intensity that has filled this boat with meat. They have hundreds of hours together on the waves and can exude, in an instant, the collective mischief of men who regard each other as brothers. They are serious now. The chart plotter shows their treacherous nighttime route, with depths fluctuating along the channel: 46, 50, 71, 1, 4, 2. Look away, miss a buoy, the boat is stuck.