Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Holy Mackerel!!!!

Or Holy King Fish, but whatever the hell it's called, we caught it!!
Yes, much to my surprise, Hans and I snagged a fish!

Hans and our two foot catch.

After spending two nights at the Blue Water Marina in Bimini we finally decided to move on. The family we met the night before told us they were going to go to the Berry Islands and that we were welcome to follow along. However since the winds were completely wrong for a sail it would mean motoring the whole way and Hans said he was tired of imitating a trawler. They were really nice and I was sorry to pass up their offer.

So we decided that we'd mosey around for a couple of days and then sail to West End so we could get moving into the Abacos where all the snorkeling etc... is supposed to be. On our first venture out of the Bimini Harbor I was amazed at how different things look when you're not in a hellish storm or fighting six foot seas. The water was calm and the colors stunning. Looking out over the ocean was like viewing a layered jello salad; aqua on the bottom, sky blue in the middle, and the deep inky blue of the gulf stream lying top.

My camera just doesn't do this place justice.

We anchored in thirteen feet of water off of South Cat Cay and when Hans dove in to see how the anchor looked he found it just lying on top of some very hard sand. He went down a couple of times to see if he could dig it in but it went nowhere. So we spent the night with the combined weight of the chain and anchor holding us in place.

The next morning we back tracked and anchored in Honeymoon Harbor. There were two big power cruisers rafted together (on one anchor) with tons of people and they spent the day dinghying back and forth to the island. We were fine with just sitting on the boat and once again Hans dove down to check on the anchor. This time we were in six feet of water and the anchor was wedged into a grassy area. The only concern was the huge amount of tiny jellyfish that bounced off of Hans while he was in the water. He didn't get stung so we're not sure what that was all about.
While still waiting for favorable winds we decided to go on back into the Bimini Harbor and anchor on up past the marina. It was when we were headed back that we snagged our fish. We were in about nine feet of water and let out around forty feet of one hundred pound test line with a small spoon lure attached and it wasn't long before Hans was yelling that we had a fish.

Honestly, we were so excited we didn't know what to do. So we started wrapping the line around our winch and when our fish was fully in sight I was pretty sure we had a Barracuda which I didn't want at all as you can't eat them. Then we decided it was a very small Wahoo. When we finally got it up and it was lying across the back of our dinghy, I gave it a welcome aboard shot of vodka and it promptly stopped moving.

After shutting Wilbur up down below we got out our fish guides and of course could not identify our catch. However our book on the Abacos had a very good likeness of our guy and it was either a mackerel or king fish. First we put him in a cooler with ice, then I thought it over and decided we'd better clean it now and get the fillets into the fridge. I got to use the handy dandy fillet knife that my mother gave me for Christmas and I proceeded to cut up our catch while trying not to look into its dead yet very accusing eye!

So for dinner last night we feasted on tons of grilled mackerel coated in Northwest seasoning from Penzey Spices. I then spent the remainder of the evening worrying that we were going to die of poisoning!

We didn't and I'm still doing a little happy dance!

All ready for the grill.

A huge dinner complete with rice.

And remember when I said we were waiting for the right winds so we could sail away? We are now on our way to West End and we are going to have to motor the whole way because the winds we had been promised earlier are now not going to show up.

I'm so surprised.


  1. I'm glad we're not the only ones that need a reference book to identify fish! I guess that vodka thing really works?!

  2. Cheryl, all fish look alike to me and I can't believe the one we caught wasn't on the guide we bought in Vero Beach. And I was very sceptical about the vodka thing but I'm not kidding when I say that fish was out like a light within seconds! It made me feel much better to know it didn't have to suffer very long.

  3. We are so jealous of your fish!!! so i guess we need to start trolling. we throw out two lines at almost every anchorage and the only thing they catch is each other. i put a bell on one line and somehow lost the whole line, lure, hook, and bell! we hope you enjoyed the fish and we are glad it wasnt poisonous!

  4. Great Post! Thanks for sedating your fish before cleaning--I know they appreciate it. I do that as well. Had another furler problem on Harvey so I'm going home for a couple of weeks. Should be back on the water and headed for Key West by April 12th or so. Give my regards to Wilbur!

    Greg?SV Harvey

  5. I finally have internet after two days of nothing!

    J & C, don't be too jealous, we haven't had even one bite since our big haul! I tried to drop a line at anchor too and also had no luck.

    Greg, sorry to hear you had problems but then it's a boat, right??!! I hope everything works out for you and you get back to the Keys