|We live on the sea. Of course, fishing is everywhere. Nets like this in beautiful Mallorca are some that we need to avoid on the high seas.|
During the eight months up the coast of South America when fishing probably would have provided food for our stomachs, we felt that we had so much to learn on Milly that fishing seemed just one more thing to add to an already steep learning curve. And then there was the reported necessity of having to slow down - who wants to do that? And the blood and mess. And how to get the huge fish we were anticipating on board without a gaffe or net (we still don't have a net). And how to kill it once on board - we hadn't yet bought cheap Caribbean rum and neither of us relished bashing enormous fish that we intended on catching over the head or stabbing it. And then we were flummoxed by reports that fish were becoming more and more scarce. Could we as ocean environmentalists really justify killing fish? Nary a fish did we catch on the infrequent occasion we tried although once our lure was bitten in half by something big!
We love the life we see in the ocean. And loved the fish that other cruisers generously shared or the fresh fish, conch and lobster we bought right off the fishing boats as they came into harbour. We love and will never tire of the sudden appearance of dolphins frolicking at the bow. Peter has seen six whales, I have seen one.
|Dolphins entertain us pretty regularly. They look like they are having such fun - jumping, spinning, dipping around each other. We have identified several different types as we have made our way south to north and west to east.|
|Single fisher boats in Tunisia are basic. Wooden, brightly painted rowboats are reminiscent of Brazilian local fishing boats.|
|A small fishing harbour in Tunisia outside the palace of the previous beloved president, Habib Bourguiba.|
|From Portugal to Cadiz, Spain our AIS showed us (the little black boat on the red line) threatened by a multitude of fishing boats heading home to land their catch.|
|The same fleet with one or two on collision course.|
In Grenada, a local fisherman made us two lures that we were determined to use and be successful with on our passage to Bonaire. Nope. Our buddy boats each caught one and one was an enormous wahoo that they filleted in their dinghy-come-fishing-bucket.
During the next longer passage to Columbia we caught our first tuna. It was bloody, small and had big eyes with which I'm sure he/she was saying, "What? You're really going to eat me when you have lentil stew in the freezer?"
|We shared our first tuna with our sailing buddies in Columbia. A small sushi appetizer.|
|Can you see the numerous sharp teeth on this barracuda? They can take digits off. And they can carry the ciguatera toxin that, if ingested, can make one seriously, even fatally, ill. We chose to let this one go.|
Not until we left Florida with Randy, who Michel affectionately called the "fish whisperer" did we have enough fish to stock our freezer. Only one mahi, though, on an 8-day trip. Maybe Milly was the problem - impossible! We did not put our lines in again all the way across the Atlantic.
|Randy with his Mahi Mahi. It was delicious and enough to feed our freezer. But ...it was bloody and messy!|
Then we got to beautiful Portugal. Portuguese love fish - they love to catch and they especially love to eat fish.
|Fish markets in Portugal have a ton of fish that we have not seen and cannot put a name to.|
|Unfortunately, it is so crowded with yammering people speaking a language which is difficult to catch, that we could not ask questions. Only could gaze about. It was a feast for the senses, for sure.|
|As we walked away, he called to us that he had caught a fish and proudly displayed the tiny thing for the picture.|
|Then you put very concentrated salt water into the hole....|
|and wait for the white, anemic looking head of the clam to poke it's head out of the hole in disgust - it doesn't like the salty solution.|
|And you grab it and pull. It's surprisingly unhappy about being pulled out, requires a real solid tug. (Those are not my fingers, by the way.) The foot of the clam is suctioning solidly against something or other.|
|Our catch...actually our teachers gave us a few.|
|Weird looking things. I cleaned them which involved basic rinsing. Some I fried in olive oil and garlic for dinner. The rest, I quickly boiled - seconds - until the shells opened and froze for treats at a later time.|
|They were odd creatures with limp heads.|
|Steam. Remove shells. Ready for the freezer. Eventually, thaw, remove midsection of dark guts etc. and serve with garlic and olive oil on rice in typical Portuguese fashion.|
|this one caught us. We found it on the trampoline one morning, dried up in the sun and therefore inedible. Amazing to think that he/she had jumped high enough to land on Milly.|
|One doesn't have to fish to be surrounded by fish. In Tunisia, fish are a good luck sign for a home. This Berber home in a cave in the middle of the Sahara has a fish above it's front door. Must be really good luck in such an arid place!|
|The hamsa, or the Hand of Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad protects against the evil eye. The fish inside must add super duper good luck. Attractive mosaics, too, at someone's front door.|
|Even the landforms look like sea creatures.|
|Tiny Tuna made sashimi snack.|
|And another one.|
|Gutted, plopped in a bag and frozen for at least 24 hours. Not much blood or mess. Easy!|