Saturday, May 14, 2011


Spanish Wells, Bahamas 25º32.565N | 76º44.715W

My fishless days seem to have ended -- for now. On the brisk sail to Alabaster Bay, in 16-20 knots gusting to 24, my fishing line suddenly screamed, catapulting me several inches off the cockpit seat at this still-new sound.

I grabbed the pole and could feel right away that this was a fish of a different stripe. I said something like, "Yikes."

It was a beast. I tussled with it, the rod bent almost in half while Chip ran for the alcohol (for the fish).

I wrangled and wrangled. We could see whatever was on my hook jump out of the water occasionally only enough for us to see, to my great relief, that it wasn't a shark.

Cranking it all the way up next to the boat, we peered over rail into the face of a 3-foot, pissed-off barracuda.

I reeled him slightly out of the water, and Chip poked at him with the fishnet until he broke free. We happily went our separate ways. I stowed the feathery lure that in my mind will always be coated in barracuda spit.

There are never pictures of the good stuff.

We quietly anchored in Alabaster Bay for the night and raised anchor at 7:15 a.m. to make the sketchy Current Cut with a favorable tide. We sailed through generous 15 knots of wind gusting to 20, and I hopefully dropped a lure in the water, one that by my judgment would be very unattractive to barracudas.

Just as we got the sails trimmed and were flying along at full speed, my line zipped once again. Now somewhat familiar with the sound, I jumped and grabbed the rod.

It was no barracuda, thank goodness, but there was surely something on there. Now the veterans of two fish, we more professionally tackled this one. I brought it up to the boat. Chip scooped it up in the net and poured vodka on its Spanish Mackerel gills.

Twenty inches of fresh yumminess.
And on we sailed, transiting the Current Cut without incident.

I keep thinking these little towns have achieved the pinnacle of picture perfection, and then we sail into a new one. 

A picturesque harbor.
And fairy tale houses.
Immaculate fishing boats.

Pristine beaches.
And a fresh fish dinner for four! Spanish Mackerel in Spanish Wells.


  1. Oh Boy! Keep 'em coming!! I am back on vacation, Woo Hoo . . . WaHoo?

  2. We caught two of those and we refer to them as Holy Mackerels. They were very tasty, indeed. And I was so unhappy when the 'fighter' we pulled on board turned out to be an even unhappier barracuda. We gave him my orthodontist's card and tossed him back.