Our one and only stop after leaving Salalah, Oman, before arriving in India would be Ras Al Hallaniya island, which is part of the Kuria Muria Islands, 30 miles away from the piracy attack Liz and I overheard on the VHF the other week. What a place to celebrate my 15,000th nautical mile, especially after catching a beautiful dorado…
I was elated. I had finally bagged a fish worth talking about and I had photographic evidence to boot. With Rich still up the mast I figured I’d save some time and start filleting one side of this monster. I took the chap down to the swimming platform at the back of the boat. He was a healthy adult male. His appetite was obviously very big since a flying fish popped out of his guts!
Made my managerial debut today by catching my first dorado. When I say ‘catch’ I mean I chose the lure, cast the line, caught the fish, killed it, cleaned it, cooked it and consumed it. Actually when I say ‘cooked it’ that’s not strictly true since I cut it up into small strips, marinated it in lemon juice and ate it raw.
A Sunday just like any other Sunday really. Lounge around, do nothing. Dobby and I made half a monopoly board and we caught two dorado, though we decided to put one back.
England are the rugby world champions! We followed the progress via the BBC World Service, whose coverage went something like this:
‘There are loads of people here in Sydney preparing for the World Cup. And now back to the news’
Highlight today was seeing pilot whales, which are basically very large dolphins. In fact Simon claims dolphins are for kids and pilot whales are the real thing and I have to say they really are impressive sight swimming in massive pods alongside the boat, especially when they start jumping out of the water.
All good except I’m a little tired and it’s my second day of giving up smoking (yes, again). This was made up by the dorado caught by Rich – a smallish female, though enough meat to go round. In fact I even made my first fish-head broth for lunch and then cooked the fillets for dinner, which had been marinating in lime juice and garlic.
It was as we were commenting on the huge waves coming at us that the reel of Dave’s fishing rod began to screech and we all jumped up like a bunch of excited monkeys, swinging around bars and leaping from bench to bench. Of course I instinctively grabbed my camera when I should have been sheeting the gib to slow us down. Vincent sprang into action whilst the rest of us just stood and marvelled at the master in action.