Something fishy

Scot Free III
Frank & Anne
Thu 16 Feb 2017 09:11
16:25N 034:44W
Wind F6 ENE With prolonged Gusts F7 NE Cloudy.

Running with reef 3 in main (as small as it gets). Boom locked tight with a preventer and both headsails rolled away. Very comfortable and level except in the prolonged gusts when it gets a bit lumpy.
Haven't seen sight of another boat or anything else, except a solitary bird and a few flying fish. Just about to put out the fishing line and try our luck for a dawn catch. It was a couple of Australian friends on a Catamaran who suggested ditching my fishing rod (the reel disintegrated anyhow) and buying an Alvey winch. This is an Australian made, 8" (205mm) dia. reel. It has 500m of seriously strong 30kg line on it and a small squid lure at the end. Small, because we don't want to catch something huge. We saw some big game fishermen in the Canaries and their squid lures are about a foot long, have batteries inside and flashing LED lights. The winch is very simple with no gears or other complications, is clamped onto the rail at the back and seems to work really well.
The rod was a real pain to set up and, on more than one occasion, I clonked the wind generator and almost managed to get the line tangled in it.
Which reminds me: we used to have a mooring on the river Exe, great apart from the seagulls who caught crabs and shellfish on the drying sandbanks and used my boat as their combined dinner table and toilet. I tried everything, to the amusement of the locals. A plastic owl, a hawk, high up, in the rigging, even plastic snakes which the exmouth, carnival shop owner assured me would work (I should have been suspicious as he also tried to sell me a bubble machine which he used, to keep them away from his shop front) finally the only solution was miles of bunting which I kept on a reel and wound out at the pulpit working back and forth across the whole boat. The water taxi driver used to divert via our mooring, en route to the floating Exe Cafe, to entertain his customers with the saga.
One day, going out to the boat, on the water taxi, I was horrified to see that someone had stolen our bunting. I then realised, in the recent high wind, one end had come free and was subsequently sucked into the large propellor and was totally tangled. It took hours to dismantle it all and wind it out of the axle.