Operation In-law Week is off to a great start! Monday the four of us chartered a deep sea fishing boat for a half-day tour, and what started out as a rather boring loop-de-loop offshore turned into a battle to stay in the boat as a very angry mackerel tried to pull us all in with him.
We had expected to be taken to a particular fishing area and allowed to fish off the side of the boat until we caught something, but that’s not actually how it works. Instead, the captain rides back and forth along the coastline while the deckhand strings six poles and releases the bait into the water. Then, you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Then, with any luck, one of the poles will eventually jump. This is your cue to jump into the special reeling chair and take the pole handed to you by the deckhand and try to pull “your fish” into the boat.
The Mister reeled in the first fish – a large mackeral about 18 or so inches long. An hour and two lost bites later, his dad got to reel in a beautiful barracuda. Then, it was boring for a very long time. You can only play “i spy something blue” for so long.
As we were on our way back from Nevis, one of the poles jumped violently and everyone started. It was my turn. I jumped into the reeling chair and grabbed the rod that was handed to me… and immediately realized I am not strong enough to turn it. The Mister rushed over to help me, and even with the both of us reeling the fish was not ready to cooperate. It ended up getting so wrapped around another of our lines that the Mister had to reel in one rod and the deckhand had to reel in the other just to keep both lines from snapping.
This continued for a good ten minutes with no progress being made at all, so the captain finally came down to the deck to help. It took the Mister AND his dad reeling the first rod, the deckhand reeling the second and the captain leaning over the back of the boat trying to haul the fish in bodily to defeat it. Judging from the fight it put up, we were expecting a shark! It turned out to be a spotted mackerel almost two feet long, which the mister estimated to weigh close to 15 pounds. It was an exciting catch.
(Yes, at this point the captain is on the deck pulling in a fish and untangling line, so nobody is steering the boat. Which is why my father-in-law and I can now put “helped drive a fishing boat” on our lists of personal accomplishments. :])
We only kept the fillets from the big mackerel and let the captain and deckhand have the others. One fillet served all four of us! I roasted the pieces in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and we ate them with rice and some red potato wedges from Sunday’s big lunch. It was surprisingly good, and the Mister and I still have a whole fillet in the freezer for a rainy day!
Today we visited Brimstone National Fortress and Caribelle Batik, where they make a type of Caribbean dyed fabric. My legs might never walk another set of stairs again! Nevis is on the agenda for tomorrow, so wish us luck getting onto a car ferry that apparently leaves whenever it feels like it, regardless of the posted schedule.
Meera is getting to go play with Daisy and Penny – American dogs that belong to our friends – tomorrow, so that will save her from a whole day in her kennel. She’s really taken a shine to “Nanna” and “Big Dad” and hates to leave their sides. First grandpup is a success!
Happy mid-week to you all, and to all a good night.