Sunday, May 22, 2011

The one(s) that got away.

We finally started to back track through the Abaco's in order to head home and decided to make West End the beginning point to the U.S., instead of Bimini.

We took advantage of the east winds and made pretty good time. On the last leg of this journey we decided to bypass Mangrove Cay on our way from Great Sail to West End which made for a very long day. Mangrove is a good anchorage but not in strong east winds.

Since we were able to sail and didn't have to motor, I decided to toss two fishing lines out and then waited to see what was going to show up for dinner.

Nothing happened for such a long time, I lost interest and quit watching. Hans had gone down below and I was sitting at the helm when I realized our music speakers were making an odd squeaking noise. I monkeyed around with the volume, got on my hands and knees and inspected the speakers, and then suddenly it stopped. It was when I was sitting back down in the captain's seat that I realized one of my fishing lines was gone. Not snapped off, but completely gone. Just then Hans came back up and I showed him the line that I'd figure eighted and secured with half hitches had disappeared. That's what I think the squeaking noise was. It was the line being stretched by a big fish and finally working its way loose from the cleat.

Hans was of the mind that I didn't tie my line correctly.

I tossed a replacement line out and within about a half hour I had a fish. I jumped up and down with excitement, waved my filet knife about, and wondered what side dish I was going to serve with my catch. I put on my gloves and started winding the line around a winch. This fish was a fighter and I kept hoping it wouldn't get away and then finally, we hauled our hefty three foot prize up into the cockpit.

Me (pissed off): Damn it, it's a barracuda, there goes dinner!

Hans (thoughtfully): Maybe not. Maybe it's another holy mackerel.

Me (incredulous): My God, don't you see his teeth?!

Hans (still thoughtful): All fish have teeth (this trip to the Bahamas was the first time in Hans' life he's ever gone fishing).

Me (in resignation): Well this guy has some pretty nasty teeth and if he wants to meet the ladies it wouldn't exactly hurt him to visit an orthodontist.

So we threw him back and of course I didn't get a picture because camera number two isn't working.

A little while later I realized I hadn't seen the huge spoon lure I'd tied onto the other side of the boat, dancing along the surface, and when I grabbed hold of it I knew my lure was gone. I reeled it in and saw that the knot I'd secured the lure with had come undone. I showed it to Hans and insisted that the weight of a fish had caused this.

Hans was of the mind that I didn't tie my knot correctly.

I lieu of a photo, I copied this from the Internet. An obvious relative of our fish.

We ended up with hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for dinner.

For my next project, I believe I'll practice tying a noose, and we'll see whether I tie it correctly or not.


  1. The Pacific barracuda has proven to be a very tasty dinner. Are you avoiding this fish as a meal due to concerns over ciguatera? Great blog even though the fishing has been spotty! Good sailing on your journey home.

  2. Yes, it's the ciguatera that's a concern, at least over here. Everything we've read says don't eat a barracuda that weighs over 5 pounds as it could very well make you sick. As my cooking is already questionable I'd hate to add insult to injury (or injury to insult!).