A bit Fishy

Fri 8 Feb 2008 23:38
12.01N 61.4W
Sunday 3rd Feb.
And so we are now in Grenada (first a, as in ace; 2nd a, as in apple... or so we now know!!) Anchored in St Davids, a bay on the south of the island (nearest anchorage when sailing from Charlotteville (being lazy again!!). Total landside developments ... One large and very Scottish in layout yacht yard ... with full facilities ... including a restaurant  (canteen with bar) for the work force... but also us yachties use it! And on one side of the bay a posh but small development of chalets (for let) and expensive (very) (we have not been inside it!) restaurant, and also a shop .. full aircon and expensive but nice bits and pieces, mainly food type .. but no prices .. so we retreated quickly!!
We arrived on Sunday afternoon (3 pm) ... an hour earlier than expected!! At long last the current helped us .. Direct route 72 miles but we only sailed through the water for 67.5 miles (payback time for the current against us from Barbados) ... But the wind decided not to play ball  (normal) ... started ok at 5am (pitch black as the moon was only coming up just before dawn (6 ish) blowing a good 20 knots on a nice beam reach ... We are creaming along at 7 to 8 knots with 2 reefs in the main and without having any genoa unrolled.... Mind you we had up anchored at 4 am .. It took us that long to clear the lee of Tobago ...  So to a lovely dawn .. wind drops .. full sail up and we are struggling to hit 6 knots! then to add insult to injury it swung slowly round to come from the south east.. (we are sailing north west) so a dead run ... get genny poled out to windward and rolling still struggling to hit 6 knots ... but a lovely sunny day.. now getting on .. well somewhere between 8 and 9 am ... and passed an oil rig within a few hundred yards ... during the darkness it was lit up like a cruise liner , in the daylight as we sailed by it looked small and forlorn .. a big disappointment!
So boat all set up, gentle sailing down the Atlantic rollers .. not really much to do ... Ahhh I know  .. lets try a bit of fishing... I had learnt from my fishing trip at Charlotteville ... So rigged up a long line (over 100 metres) pink lure ... over the stern of the boat where the gate is for boarding ... finally tied off to a bimini support stanchion ... and a long (well 20 foot) of shockcord (high tensile elastic (for landlubbers)), with lots of spare rope so 10 foot of tension could be applied. Anyway... nothing happened so I go down below to check Maxsea (the navigation system we use) to make sure we have not had a change in current ( unlikely until the tide turns (and maxsea tell us that ( bloody clever)) then Annabel shouts that the knot (line to shockcord has moved) and b...y hell she is right as I reappear... 4 foot of stretch in the shorckcord now ... So I start pulling ... No quick get the gardening gloves I had bought for such an occasion... Now we are talking .. .. Slowly I hand in the line .. Annabel reeling the line up behind me ... but twenty feet in then 10 out again.... slowly we won ... had to keep letting out .. then back again (boat still sailing on at 6 knots)  ... till eventually could actually see a fish on the end ... Now we truly believe  .. yes we got one.. mustn't lose it now!!!! Annabel get the box I yelled .. I tired it out about 50 to 100 foot behind the boat .. pull it in .. gaff it with the operational half of the boat hook (took another half hour to put the boat hook back together again!)... Got the box .. Now on stern deck so gutted (couldn't believe how little the guts were!! Then chopped up roughly into 3 pieces .. head to tail .. and into freezer ... wayho at least 3 maybe 4 high protein, low fat meals in the freezer ... and out here that is  unheard of ... the protein sources are absolute crap They don`t even do fish (well proper portions of!!!) PAUL bring some fantastic steaks with you (only joking) .. I might not last!!! .. Other than our own resources I would be hallucinating for a muscle building meal!!!! (Annabel's note: it's not that bad, didn't we say we'd worked out that we can buy a small frozen turkey which makes 5ish good meals for the 2 of us?)
So Monday passed with a little explore round the bay, a few swims and NO customs! ...Well we tried ... but the customs guy decided not to turn up at all!!!
So Tuesday ... success with customs .. except for one small problem ... we did not have enough EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars to pay the arrival tax .. but never mind ... we needed to do a shop and the nearest place was St Georges (the capital). Only half an hours bus ride away ... Well what an experience.....
It took half an hour to walk to the road well not quite because a passing bus driver saw us walking up the lane ... we still had a good 200 yards to go... so just as we are upping the pace, hot sunny and no wind as we walked up the valley so we are a bit sticky already and lo and behold he roars down the lane, picks us up, roars back to the road ... in reverse... at the same speed he whizzed down! So to town .. and a nice one  too .. fantastic natural harbour (which is a sea filled volcano crater) good market, good supermarket and if we had walked far enough we are told a good fish market ... another day perhaps!
Had lunch overlooking the harbour (more expensive than Tobago, but a lot less than the UK). Shopped and caught the bus back ... Need to explain here that a bus is basically a 12 seater van with windows ... Must be individually owned ... when full ... they pick up more passengers to the point of getting nearly 2 people per seat ... and there are some very large ladies in this part of the world! Anyway back to the bus ride home ... Driver got it filled up pretty quick ... then ...nothing was stopping him .. Nigel Mansell was nothing!... any vehicle in front was just a challenge .. how quick could he get past ... I think he must have been reading about Lewis Hamilton`s father being Grenadian .. So back in twenty minutes ..and so just in time to pay the customs man before he went home!!!
Wednesday  we decided to sail down the coast round a couple of headlands because a local marina had been promoting the evening barbeque of ground beef burgers .... A high protein promise .... now that could not be missed!!!!......