Brindabella motored slowly west from Anguilla at 3am with me on the
foredeck keeping a sharp lookout for fishing pots; only a pale moon
lit the sea ahead. A minimal F1-2 just about kept the sails full. I
took advantage of prime fishing time and threw my new line off the
stern with the pink and white squiddy lure welcoming fishes to snack.
I then kneaded my bread dough and all settled Si went below for a
It was a beautiful day break with a pink sky before a rising orange
sun which unfortunately soon vanished behind thick cloud. Just off to
starboard a large dolphin or small whale surfaced once, its dorsal fin
making a long slow arch just above the water. I scanned the sea in
front as our course led us through umpteen fishing pots before land
disappeared behind, the depth dropped deeply and there was nought to
focus on but the beautiful solitude of a new day at sea.
Then, all of a sudden, ping! The peg on my fishing line flew off
and with heart beating I leapt out of the cockpit to pull in the line.
I knew from the weight that if anything it was not big and my heart
sunk as a few inches into the strong leader line there were only teeth
marks with no sign of a fish or my lure. With determination I tied on
our new ‘cedar plug’ lure and threw the line over, before making up
another squiddy lure with wire, a BIG hook and a very frilly Barbie
pink skirt; an inspiration for Mia Mai I thought – ‘The fish hook
collection’! Of course when Si woke the only proof I had that there
was something that got away was a few inches of nibbled line. Doh!
Perhaps my new bread recipe would be more successful? I kneaded
another one and a half cups of flour into the gooey dough to stop it
welding itself to the board and not very confidently put it to rise
again. Three large dolphins dancing round the boat were sure to lift
my spirits though as we sipped green tea with the wind picking up a
little. By mid morning we had a gentle F3-4 on the beam which we were
thankful for with the forecast for a dead calm. We thought we’d be
motoring all day. I cooked bacon and egg to fill Si’s fresh bread for
breakfast as the day became increasingly hotter. The whole sky had a
strange pink tinge which we assumed was something to do with the ash
from Montserrat. The watermaker filled the tanks to overflowing today
so I ran off some water and did some laundry; a sure way normally to
ensure strong winds!
The second bite on my line brought more disappointment with the
loss of ‘Barbie 1 of 3’ and a snapped line above the leader. Note to
self – buy stronger line to go on the reel. There was a lack of
confidence as I chucked yet another lure off the stern. I went below
for a snooze.
The many islands of the British Virgin Islands came slowly into
view on the horizon and with a lowering sun we entered Sir Frances
Drake Channel between Ginger Island and the tiny Round Island with its
sheer grey slatey sides. Fallen Jerusalem, Brocken Jerusalem and the
southern part of Virgin Gorda looked very different with huge round,
white rocks around the shore and many light grey rocks between the
buildings up the gently sloping hills. Our new pilot book said
anchoring in the islands was forbidden and we foresaw problems with
the obvious lack of mooring buoys and umpteen boats. Off of Spanish
Town however many of the boats were anchored so we followed suit,
dropping our trusty hook just in time to catch the last of daylight
with a G&T. Two very large dark shadows passed slowly under
Brindabella as we peered over the side. I had precooked jacket
potatoes in the microwave while motoring so supper was soon dished up
from the barbecue and soon after we were catching up on lost sleep.