Madcap Sailing

24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida
28 October 2016 | Madcap in Ft Pierce, Florida and crew in Halifax, Nova Scotia
06 April 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
23 March 2016 | Riverside Marina, Ft. Pierce, Florida
20 March 2016 | Vero Beach, Florida

There's More Than One Way to Catch a Fish

27 March 2010 | Flamingo Cay, Jumentos
Beth / 89 in the shade!
We started to rock and roll and experienced a 10 minute downpour around 6:30 this morning as a minor front passed through. I had started some of "Pat's Bread" the night before, and as we listened to Chris Parker at 6:30, I punched down the dough and shaped it into loaves, and the cabin had that lovely yeasty smell mixed with the aroma of fresh coffee as we thought about what to do next. Jim and I were both loathe to turn around and head back to Salt Pond, Long Island because of our motorless dinghy. We just got here! The swell made staying here unpleasant, and if we weren't going back the only other choice was to go forward. Accordingly, we upanchored at 0940 and set a course for Flamingo Cay.

The main was up but it didn't do us any good and we motored along in 3-4 foot swells for the 3 hour trip. Bracing myself against the companionway steps, I popped the bread in the oven as we travelled and we were able to enjoy slabs of fresh warm bread, creamy butter and homemade rhubarb jam (my last jar) for lunch. Mmmmmmm.

Four boats were already anchored by the two palms so we went to the next beach down - partly for space, and partly because we could get in closer to the beach and the little cave. Being rowers now, proximity is important!
The folks from Kanaloa came by to say hello on their way back from the beach and, after making sure our anchor was well set, we weren't long getting ashore ourselves. We snorkeled over to the little cave and looked up through the breaks in the ceiling to see daylight and drifted over one coral head where there were a few fish, but without a motor on the dinghy we couldn't really go exploring. I was disappointed that there were no shells on the beach, but at least we got exercise, both in the water and climbing the trail to the new light on the hill where we had a terrific view north and south along the cay. Dot's Way came in too, having found that the swell continued to be uncomfortable at Water Cay.

The absolute best part of the day happened next. We were back onboard and about to settle in with our books for a late afternoon read when a fishing skiff with Justin and Dominic on board came cruising toward us. As we waved, they snugged up against us and asked if we wanted some fish. Of course we wanted fish!

Their cooler was filled with good looking, amber coloured hogfish, not-so-pretty but very tasty grouper, snapper, and some big lobsters. We offered beer and settled on a price of $25 for a couple of big hogfish that Dominic proceeded to clean and fillet. As we talked, we learned that these guys are out of Salt Pond, Long Island (Dominic is originally from Dominican Republic), that they fish with spears not lines, diving with a line to an onboard compressor (a hookah), that the fish is frozen on their boats, sold to the packing house in Long Island and then shipped to Nassau. The African market hurts them - flooding the market with lower priced fish. We have also learned that there is some degree of dissension between the Ragged Islanders and the fellows who come over here from Long Island. As Dominic worked, he sluiced off his cutting board (cooler top) with scoops of sea water, dipped his knife overboard to rinse it, and then handed the bucket to Justin who scooped the water from the stern floor and tossed it overboard. Clean up is such a breeze on a boat!

Once the hogfish was cleaned and in my big bowl along with a huge crawfish tail (and instructions for seasoning and baking) Dominic suggested that we really needed some conch. You have to picture this solidly built man - black, black skin with sparkling eyes, shiny strong white teeth and an ear to ear smile sitting up tall and pronouncing in his big deep voice, "Conch GOOD for you!" (Conch is reputed to have all kinds of good effects on many body parts!) We have yet to learn to clean conch so how could we help answering, "OK - we'll take some conch too." With that, Dominic started telling me how to make conch salad and then announced that he would make the salad right there for me. When I asked Justin (at the helm of the skiff) if they had time, he smiled, gazed around the bay and with a shrug of his shoulders drawled, "We got time" just as if I had asked some kind of idiot question. We were having an experience here!

With that, I handed over a clean bowl, and as Dominic called out items, I fished around in fridge and produce baskets for onion, sweet pepper, hot peppers, tomato, apple (apple?), lemon, and apologized for not having any more oranges. Dominic diced 3 conchs and the green pepper on the top of his cooler, and the apple, tomato and onion right in his hand - slicing this way, that way and then again in layers so that the diced bits fell neatly into the bowl. His knife was so sharp it cut the vegetables like butter and I marvelled at his control. I had never put apple in conch salad but it worked really well. With a squeeze of lemon and a flourish of the hot pepper shaker, "You want HOT??" he grinned and handed over the bowl. Oh it was goooood - even without the orange. And it was all the better for being made by the fisherman right in his boat.

Sure, we can work harder at catching fish, but how could we ever beat the story that comes with the fish when we get them this way? Matchless!
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent the last several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but plan to spend the winters exploring warmer places - currently the Guatemala, Belize, Honduras area.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
6 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
18 Photos
Created 21 February 2016
31 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
4 Photos
Created 20 February 2016
20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
7 Photos
Created 9 February 2016
51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011