Super-Hero Lawrence Saves The Day

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sat 14 Apr 2012 01:20

Super-Hero Lawrence Saves The Day


Position:  27:55S 047:32W

Date & Time :  13 April 2012 2215 (0115 UTC – 0215 BST)


With one exception – and a major one – it’s been a pretty routine day. To arrive at Angra Dos Reis at first light on Monday we only have to average 5.8 knots which is not demanding. So in the light winds and now flat seas we are enjoying, we have had a combination of beam reaching under sail alone, a bit of motor sailing just to keep the speed up a bit when the wind drops off and, occasionally, when the wind dies even further we have simply motored. Not exactly an epic passage but we’re all agreed that after the exceptionally good passage from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires we’re well satisfied whatever this final passage brings.


Lawrence, bless him, has never given up on his fishing ambitions and has been tweaking this and changing that. Clearly he had attracted something, as at one point this afternoon there was a loud crack and the 50 lb breaking strain line just snapped – I’m not sure we would have wanted on board the monster that did that anyway. So another length of line and an expensive lure went the same way as so many others before it. I have lost lures over the years worth far more than if I had bought the fish we have caught at Harrods and had them helicoptered out to the boat.


Not fazed by this set back, Lawrence got out the Big Rod, put on one of my last remaining lures and half an hour later the end of the rod arched over and the line started playing out. Like a coiled spring, Lawrence had grabbed the rod and was playing the catch. With consummate skill he let the catch run a bit, then reeled it in ever closer. After what seemed hours of this life and death struggle between the two gladiators, Lawrence eventually brought alongside a large what we think but don’t know ‘cos we don’t have a crib sheet is a yellow fin tuna (for those of you out there that might know, it is grey on top, bright yellowy green underneath, has a dome shaped head, a well forked tail, and a large sailfish-like dorsal fin).


Within minutes Lawrence had it clubbed to death by winch handle on the poop deck (the blood was all over the place, including some that spattered down the open hatch to my cabin staining the sheets of my bed – the DS will not be happy). It was then gutted and filleted and, as I type, it is simmering in a pan of butter, onions and garlic, ready to be served with some simple boiled and buttered potatoes.


What a fantastic performance. I may just have given the impression in some earlier blogs that Lawrence was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic and, if I did so, then I openly admit that this would have been a completely inadvertent slur on his fine character. Lawrence is a hunter-gatherer supreme. Strong in mind and body he exemplifies everything I would wish to be when I’m a near-70 year old codger. No skipper could ask for a better crew member and I am proud to have Lawrence on board. And I bet that, at home, he is a devoted and caring husband to Carrie and an exemplary father to Keely. What lucky women they are.