I meant to post this before we left Providencia for San Andres, so here’s a brief flashback…
Fishing for Scott has been challenging since we left the Bahamas. Most areas we visit are part of protected waters, so there is no fishing allowed at all. Other times, the area has just been over-fished, and there isn’t much available to catch.
During a passage, Scott always hopes to put out his lines and catch some dinner; but again, things haven’t worked out since the Bahamas. It’s either too rough (we have to put the boat in neutral to reel in the lines, and in rough seas that’s not a pleasant choice), or dark. During daylight hours, if not on watch, Scott usually tries to catch some sleep. The few times the lines have been in the water, he’s been “skunked,” coming up empty.
When we arrived in Providencia, Scott was determined to change his luck. He headed off to fish a reef on the north end of the island, rallying some fellow cruisers in the anchorage to join him. The “fleet,” made up of two dinghies, headed out early one morning, determined to come back with dinner.
After a few hours, Scott and Kevin returned triumphant; Scott had caught a yellow snapper. Hours later, Jack and Lee followed. Jack graciously shared his catch with us, giving us another snapper. It was now time to clean and cook these things.
Scott isn’t crazy about cleaning fish, and even though we had an agreement that it would be my job (since he is the killer/catcher of the fish), I cannot stand the idea of cutting into and removing fish guts, it just icks me out. Thank God for Kevin, who is fine with doing this job, and has become the official fish cleaner. So now Scott and Kevin catch said fish, Kevin cleans them and I cook them; a great system!
Lobster had completely eluded everyone here. There were just none to be found. We learned that the locals travel miles out to catch them, which was too challenging for the guys, with the strong winds that were stalled over us.
However, as luck would have it, we were returning from a farewell pizza dinner for our (Baltimore!) friends Lee and Rachel (s/v Satori), when it was discovered that there were lobsters under a sunken palette beneath the town dock.
Not wanting to get in the water at night fully clothed, the guys immediately began the arduous job of trying to spear the lobsters from inside the dingy (Kevin doesn’t leave home without his spear, so it was nearby and at the ready).
There was a lot of head lamp use and body contorting, as well as much dialogue on where the lobsters were and how to get them. You’d think we’d been adrift in the open sea for weeks, and hadn’t eaten.
Finally, Kevin managed to spear two lobsters, the mission was deemed a success and we all headed home.
Scott and Kevin were quite proud of themselves.
They were not the largest lobster, but made for a nice appetizer the next night at dinner. Ya take what you can get!
Days later, Scott and Kevin again headed out to the east end of the island, and Jack joined them.
This time Scott returned with two snapper, and Jack again shared a third one with us. Hooray…fish tacos!
Wanting to try some deep sea fishing, Scott and Kevin took the Aluminum Princess out to the west side of the island, just inside the reef. They were back at the boat a very short time later, which only means one thing…injury.
As the guys were trolling, they caught a mackerel. Kevin grabbed one side of the double hook, to remove the fish (he’d used a double hook, I don’t have the skills to elaborate), the other hook went right through his thumb.
Scott cut the hook off and pulled it out, and convinced Kevin that yes, it was worth going back to bandage. After cleaning and dressing the injury, they went right back out to resume their search for fish. Unfortunately, the mackerel was the only keeper of the day. Kevin’s thumb was deemed inedible, and a barracuda caught later was thrown back.
As we routinely climbed the stairs toward Morgan’s Head, to stretch our legs, Scott kept noticing a lone coral head at the back of the anchorage, which intrigued him. Thinking it may be a lucky spot, he and Kevin headed over. Jackpot! They’d found the honey hole! The coral head was full of grouper, lion fish and snapper, making a great feast for three!
We ate from the honey hole several times after that. In an hour, Scott could run the dinghy over, catch a few fish and be back onboard (stopping at Kevin’s “cleaning station” first). Now that we’re in San Andres, the honey hole is just a memory. Here it’s back to protected water and slim pickins.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”