Tuesday, March 17, 2009

East coast sailing?

It's been a while since I've eaten a mahi-mahi, I treated myself to yesterday's fish for breakfast this morning and what a treat, I'd forgotten quite how delicious they taste.

From not seeing any boats for a couple of days, at 6.30am, as I passed the sheltered bay of Khor Nawarat, the Scandinavian fleet emerged from the various anchorages within and joined me for the sail to Long Island - 40 miles along the coast. The VHF came alive with melodic sounds of Norwegian and Swedish voices - haven't a clue what they were saying - but there seemed to be a lot to discuss.

After my delicious breakfast I had high hopes for today's fishing. Sure enough the line had only been out for 10 minutes and started screaming out - the sound of a big fish. I imagined filling the fridge with mouth-watering mahi-mahi steaks. Carefully I reeled in my catch, only to discover a monster barracuda - not what I'd ordered at all. They sit high up the food chain with the associated risk of ciguatera poisoning - to my taste they also smell bad. I had the best intentions of releasing my predator friend back to sea, but he didn't seem to appreciate my efforts to extract the hook from his vicious mouth, in-fact I think he could do with an anger management course as he seemed intent on extracting his pound of flesh from my hands. I eventually managed to free my fishing tackle, and return my unwanted catch to the sea, but he'll have a very sore mouth for a while.
The countries in this area make the cruising sailor's life a little easier by using similarly designed flags. The Sudanese flag is the same as the Yeman flag with the addition of a green triangle, the Egyptian colours add an eagle motif. So take some green fabric, contact adhesive and a Yeman flag and bingo an instant Sudanese flag. Wonder if Blue Peter would be interested in the idea?

As I arrived at the Long Island anchorage I could almost imagine I was on the east coast of the UK, sailing down the Twizzle with birds calling out from scrub covered low-lying sandy islands. UK - no coral in Essex and the waters a little colder, but how about a twinning campaign; Walton-on-the-Naze twinned with Shubuk, Sudan?

Long island anchorage @ 16:30 17/3/09 N18deg 46' E37deg 39.5'

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Very intresting blog it sounds like you're havign a blast ...keep up the good work!!