Andrew's blog

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Wed 14 Jul 2010 08:11
Inshore cruise from SavuSavu to Musket Cove--today a lovely 20 mile sail to an anchorage off Vanua Levu.
First-up, a pirate joke: what is a pirate's favourite letter? Yeeees, you'd think it be the 'R' but it actually be the 'C'. Yar har har.
So Emma and I arrived at the Copra Shed, Suvasuv Fiji. Upon making our way to the pontoon, we happened across the old man peering at a chart on the notice boards with one of his peers: upon our arrival, Dad simply looked up at both of us, paused and then looked back at the chart and continued peering. Only upon "Hi Dad" did he recognise us. Good to see that the time off has taken (most of) the edge off too.
So, after some good hospitality and meeting the other yachties we set-off to the quiet anchorage where we now lie. The exit was worryingly faultless, with all manor of potential hazards avoided. My second observation, gone are the days of ramming other yachts, the old man's boat handling seems to have improved too.
Our passage was comfortable and we decided to chuck out a couple of lines and see what we could catch. Sure enough, only 30 minutes or so later, dad pointed out that there was a small fish on the end of the line. So, I started pulling it in. As it was dragged closer, it became clear that it was not actually that small a fish, in fact, it was quite a large Dorado (or "MahiMahi" as you will have seen next to a large pound value in your favourite upmarket restaurant). This got dad quite excited and then the shouting began: old habits die hard, my real dad was back. In the space of 3 seconds i had been ordered to continue hauling in, Ger had been ordered to fetch the vodka (!?), the tray and the landing net. Each second for the next 20 seconds these orders were repeated with increasing decibels. It certainly didn't help when Ger appeared with a softball bat rather than the vodka (apparently Emma's suggestion as the more "humane way" of dispatching a fish). It didn't help when i was handed some sort of handcream container - we wanted to kill this fish, not give it a rubdown .... I was then told it contained the vodka (!?). Emma did the sensible thing of runnning away. Whilst all this commotion was going on above board, the poor MahiMahi must have been staring up through the water at this scene and decided it REALLY didn't want to end up with this crew of amateurs - like most fish (as we all know), it probably had ambitions of eating more fish to get to prize weight and only bow out to a carbon fibre rod handled by the most skilled professional sport fisherman, not some motly crew dragging a handline. It made it's best efforts to get away but despite the disarray, we managed to chuck 4 shots of Russia's poorest down it neck and it gave up the fight. Ger then set about the beautiful creature with her bluntest knife - it wasn't pretty but all credit to Ger, very comfortable with knives, blood and gore. Dad should take note. The result, more fish than the four of us could eat and so we donated half to our kind sundowner hosts aboard Natibou, where we were joined by Roy and Irene of Peggy West, an Irish couple who have been cruising the Pacific for 3 years or so. Tough life.
So, tomorrow we are heading east, how far, not yet sure, all will be decided over our hard earned dinner... which we're about to settle into.