Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fishing and SSB Radio Communications June 2007

Cruising lingo:
Newbies: Cruisers who are on their first trip down the island chain
Reruns: Those cruisers who have spent at least one summer out
So we are Reruns. The advantage of being a rerun is knowing basically where you can get things, as evidenced by our shopping in the various islands, and having lots of boat friends in many places. Nearly every anchorage we enter, we know someone, or they have seen or heard of us. Over the past three years we have met probably over 200 boats, and have 135 boat cards to show for it. Note to would be cruisers: Make up boat cards before you leave home…you will go through a lot!! And over the past 3 years, our boat friends are certainly spread out, as far as Tahiti, nearing the Azores, and many have returned to their homes in Canada and the States. We use the internet to follow many of their adventures, as well as emails and the SSB radio.
Currently we have friends travelling off shore to the USA and to the Azores, and we have been talking directly with them. It is quite fascinating that we are able to talk to North Carolina, the mid Atlantic and Venezuela all through the SSB radio. We listen to Herb, from Burlington on 12359 at 1530 to hear the boats check in for weather and guidance as they make their offshore trips. Our good friend Calaloo, who we were with most of last summer is working their way to the Azores and it is great to follow their progress.

Pictures: our Tuna and Kingfish

We had been travelling a lot this year with Vixon. Paul and Denise are great fishing people. Motivated by their successes, we decided to buy a couple more lures, and put our lines back in the water. It is true that how successful you are at catching fish is directly proportional to the amount of time your try, and you will definitely not succeed if you aren’t dragging a line.
We proved the statistics are right. We dragged lines on all our sails since Antigua. Ron did get a barracuda, which we did not keep. We were 2.5 miles north of St. Lucia when our "clothes pin" alarm sprung, under full sail doing 5.5 knots. Fishing while sailing requires some planning, as we have heard of boats being so excited about their fishing that they to go onto reefs, as they were bringing in their fish. So we luffed the sails to slow us down, brought in the second line, then dealt with the fish. We were surprised to see we had caught a tuna. It was 22" long, and about 8 pounds. We were able to use our old fishing net to pull it in, lashed the net & fish to the front deck and we continued our sail into Rodney Bay.
Having seen other boats clean their fish in a garbage bag, on their foredeck with lots of pails of sea water, we followed suit, and had a couple of meals of fish to enjoy for our efforts. It was so exciting, to finally have caught our supper!!
Leaving Tyrell Bay, we once again were setting out our lines. But before we even had the second line set, we had a "big hit" on the first one. We still had the motor on, hadn’t even let out the jib, so we could concentrate on the fish, as Otto steered us away from the anchorage. We hauled in a 30" Kingfish (or King Mackeral), guess about 12 pounds. Our limited fishing gear doesnot include a weigh scale, but that is only required for bragging rights. We lashed it to the stantchion, and continued our sail to Grenada. We decided we were done fishing for the day, one fish is enough. Once we were in the lee of the island, we cleaned it and filled the freezer with yummy steaks!!
So now we are back in Grenada, our summer home last year, and it feels great to be back.