Yahoo! a wahoo!
Wednesday 14th November 2012
We were up at the crack of dawn this morning and lifted the anchor just as the sky was beginning to lighten. It was surprisingly slow going down the coast to Barcadera to check out, because of the foul current, and having spent some time finding a suitable place to anchor the two boats, we finally arrived at Immigration shortly after 0700. It took an hour to get the paperwork done here and in Customs, and not one official enquired where the boat was or indeed wanted to board it. So we are less than impressed with Aruba bureaucracy, but at least they didn’t make us temporarily import the boat, and checking in and out, whilst a real pain, was free.
Armed with our Zarpe for Santa Marta, Colombia, a piece of paper that says we can sail to that specific port, much like the Despacho we needed in Cuba & Dominican Republic, we lifted the anchor and set off towards the Islas Monjes which are actually Venezuelan! Apparently they are happy for boats to spend a night there without having to do paperwork, and as it is nearly 300 nmiles to Santa Marta, an overnight stop seemed attractive.
The wind was very light, and after a few hours of slow going with the genoa collapsing through lack of wind to fill it, we decided to get the cruising chute out. Once up and filled, it gave us a lot more speed, so was worth the effort. But the best thing about it was that as we started to pick up speed, the fishing reel started to click, telling us that we had something on the line. Could this be our first real catch? Oh yes! Steve fought with the line and eventually pulled in an enormous wahoo. It was over 3 feet long and judging by the fact that we got 8lbs of fillets off it, probably weighed 16lbs. Apparently this is not enormous by wahoo standards, but it is by ours! I helped by gaffing it to bring it onboard and then gave it some brandy (cheap, Spanish) in its gills to kill it. Steve said he could have done with a brandy too at that point, but he still had a lot of work to do, so had to wait. After cutting and bleeding it, Steve took a huge fillet from each side and consigned the remains to the deep for recycling, keeping the tail as a souvenir. Fortunately we were able to keep the blood and mess contained and a quick wash down of the deck afterwards left no stains on the teak deck. The fillets went straight into the fridge, and we looked forward to fresh fish for supper.
Our first wahoo – exciting! Ready for the filleting knife…
Plenty of room on the aft deck to fillet the catch of the day.