Day 2 - Caught & Anchored
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 29 Mar 2019 19:30
Day Two to Kochi, Not a Good Day
The Indian Ocean I had been promised for this trip, shame about having to hand steer but as Joe would say “It Is As It Is”.
Friday the 29th of March. At four thirty in the morning I only just managed to see two fishing boats and their float nets, purely because I made out the two white floats in the light from a small crescent moon. Each boat had the two white floats (one near and one about fifteen feet from the first off the front), we assume beyond that comes sinking nets that settle in the current. Five minutes later I clapped my hand over my mouth as not to wake Bear, soundo next to me in the cockpit – his preferred sleeping place, cooler and on hand in case I need him and a huge comfort to me. Not many feet from the right side of the girl a chap shone a torch at his face like some Halloween gag. Thankfully, I missed his net but my pulse rate stayed way too fast for some time. You certainly have to have nerves of steel. Anthony (Wild Fox) had warned us about “the three million fishermen”. Oh dear, this could be a long trip. Later, it was to get a whole lot longer............
During the afternoon Bear tried to rig up the Hydrovane rudder and a very elderly piece of kit that looks like a massive walkie-talkie. Life jacket donned, over the back he went, of course wearing his gorgeous smile and optimistic veil. No. It wouldn’t work so all was packed away. Worth a try. Absolutely.
Hundreds more fisherman, at the least the bigger boats show up on AIS and on the chartplotter.
An ominous cloud to our right but it contained its own lightning that went on for a few hours.
To our left yet another unlit chap off for a night of fishing.
Spot the two fishing boats. Impossible in the dark so we hope they move when they see us, that’s if they look up.........
19:30. Well it happened. After a close call passing two small, unlit fishing boats who shone their torches at the last minute to show where their nets were drifting and a very sharp turn from Beez, I was just settling to the next scan and peering eyes sharp. Quite far off I saw a small boat in a tiny bit of moonlight, turning left a bit more, I was horrified to know I had snagged a net. The two fishermen made no attempt to come closer and we tried to reverse, forward, reverse until Beez engine stopped. Someone nearby called, we said we were caught and he translated to the owner of the net who came over and began hacking with his cleaver. “My net finished” to my very loud “our engine has finished”. I tied a chunk of the net to our side. Their boat bucked against ours and Bear went for fenders to stop any damage. Just as well I hung on to our favourite big ball fender as said cleaver went through the attached end leaving me holding the other......... They went away...... They came back, hacked at more net and took the tied bit, now they were clearly angry, well the older one was. I explained that we would anchor, stay the night and go under at first light. We expected them back........... Anchored in seventeen metres, seven and a half miles offshore, there was nothing for it but to quaff two large sherbets and have a game of backgammon, Bear must have been off his game as on one rubber he lost sixteen dollars and went on to lose five two. By half past nine we were both bushed. Fishermen surrounding us, not too far off unaware that anything was amiss as if a sailing yacht was not out of place. Bear slept in the cockpit and was soon soundo. I went to bed and slept solidly until half one when I checked on Bear. At two sleep avoided me so much I listened to an audiobook and must have dozed as I woke with no clue what was going on or who the characters were....... My IBS rose like a black stallion rearing on a knoll before galloping off across the vale.......... Days mileage – fifty-five.......Miles in the the first twenty four hours a ‘not too bad’ one hundred and five......
Even eight days later as I type this blog, there have been many visits to the toilet...............
ALL IN ALL HERE’S TO A RESTLESS NIGHT
FIRST TIME IN 34,000 MILES AND A NICE PEACEFUL NIGHT