Saturday, 3 August 2013

FIRST BLOOD!!! - The skipper catches a fish (finally)

A happy man!
Today it happened after 3 months of trawling a line behind the boat.  With absolutely no wind blowing and motoring along at 7 knots we were complacent in the cockpit - the skipper reading and I was about to go below - until the hand line reel clamped to a side cleat suddenly went off with a loud "CLACK, CLACK, CLACK" as the line started to shoot out.  "Shit!", I shouted.  "What's that?" 

The skipper jumped up from his book with a look of extreme excitement, "A fish!  It's a fish!  I've caught a fish!"  He ran to the back of the boat and started wildly pulling in the line while unfastening the life lines on the back of the boat. 

Me, in my role as safety officer, had to say in the calmest, but sternest way possible, "put on your life jacket and safety tether first".   "But I'll lose the fish!"  he exclaimed while still unhooking the back lines.  "No you won't.  I'll hold it...go on".  And then the drama of landing a small tuna unfolded.

I hadn't wanted to go through the blood and guts ordeal of having a fish landed on Southern Belle .. but I knew it would eventually happen one day and I, for one, was glad it was a calm day like today.  It took a bit to pull the line in because - 1. it was out a long way and 2. the poor fish did not want to be dragged into the boat.  Captain G succeeded in getting the unlucky thing up to the stern and then on to the deck at the back.  It was a beautiful fish and I was mesmerised for a moment until it started to flap about and spray blood everywhere!  The skipper dispatched it as quickly as possible and then put a rope around the tail to bleed it over the side.

All I could think of as I saw all that blood in the water was the movie 'JAWS'.  You know the scene when the shark comes bites the back of the boat and the hero says, "We're going to need a bigger boat".  Luckily that didn't happen and it looks like we're having fresh tuna for dinner tonight.

There were so many other things I was going to blog about tonight but the Captain catching the fish certainly made everything else fade into insignificance.  Here's a quick pictorial of what's been happening over the last couple of days.....

If you remember from the last blog we were on a mooring off the Gloucester Eco Resort.  No kidding the area is  REMOTE - nothing anywhere but mountains and ocean.  We went ashore in the hopes of getting an OK lunch and were greeted with this .. a lovely dinning area and pool.  We had a look at the cabins and they were all very basic but clean and neat.  The lunch and a couple of glasses of wine were very very enjoyable and a great surprise.  

This is the view looking back from the dinning area.  It was so lovely sitting there in the middle of nowhere having lunch.   The Captain kept saying to me, "See, aren't you glad you put up with the sailing bits you don't like when we can discover places like this!".  "Yes", I replied.  "But I still don't like it when it blows over 20 knots.  That will never change."

At lunch.

Little me behind the big wheel of the boat while underway.  The trip from Gloucester Passage to Cape Upstart was just on 50 nautical miles so we had to be on our way at first light.  The Captain kept trying to take a picture of me looking quite feral but I wouldn't come out behind the wheel. 

The anchorage in Cape Upstart bay - very pretty.  The clouds brought a lot of wind during the night but then it calmed down to nothing today. 

We are currently anchored in a place called Cape Bowling Green.  The actual Cape itself is nothing more than a very large and low sand spit encircling a huge shallow "lake" from the ocean.  We motored as far down into the area as we felt we could go because it is so shallow and dropped the anchor.  It feels like we're just stuck out here in the middle of nowhere.  Off tomorrow to Magnetic Island. more thing!  I baked another loaf of bread yesterday and it came out perfect!!!  Thank You Amy for the honey and yeast tip.  AND Ian P.  you'll be glad to know I followed your instructions implicitly.  THANK YOU BOTH!

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