Monday, February 19, 2007

December 24, 2006 - Ile Fourche, off of St. Barthelemy

After a very tight upwind sail into steep seas we rounded the corner of Ile Fourche into a bay protected by the half sunken walls of a volcanic crater. As we approached Le Petite Ilet, off the northwest corner of the island, Sten began to haul in both of our fishing lines, which hadn’t seen a bite since the monster of the deep bit off his new lure on the passage down from Bermuda. As he hauled in the handline, something struck the line. Fish on!

Approaching the little harbor full of boats, we still had both sails up, and now a fish to land. I turned the boat into the wind (directly towards the anchorage), backed off the throttle, and below to grab some booze to pour over the fish’s gills to subdue it. Grabbing the first thing I laid hands on in the liquor cabinet (Bacardi - at least it wasn’t the last of our dwindling supply of Chinaca), I ran back up on deck. Sten had the fish on the aft deck.

We gave it its last rites with the Bacardi, and got our sails down and anchor set without incident. Before we cleaned it, we tried to figure out what we had landed. Our best guess was kingfish, but if anyone has a better guess, let us know. [Update: According to Bill, it is a cero mackerel]

We had sashimi and a bottle of Westport Rivers sparkling wine for Christmas Eve dinner, but the flavor of the fish was a bit strong for eating raw. After dinner, we exchanged gifts. We both gave each other a box of chocolates - Sten gave me truffles from Jeff de Bruges in Marigot and I gave him mint chocolates from Marks & Spencer in Bermuda. Sten also gave me a French phrase book, which should come in handy as we visit several French islands over the next month.

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