Friday, November 8, 2013

Crossing to Nassau

I should probably start by telling you what we have been up to the last week, but I can’t yet.  I need to start with yesterday first.  It was my birthday and we left the Berry Islands bound for Nassau, the capitol of the Bahamas.  I had been telling Preston and Dan that all I wanted for my birthday was some fish tacos.  Now in order for me to have fish tacos we needed to catch a fish and we have had NO luck so far.  We had a great day of slow sailing, that we would take any day over rough sailing.   We had very little wind but big rolling swells which are much more comfortable than crashing waves.  All day 3 lures had been out with only a bite in the morning and nothing but seaweed the rest of the day.  Nassau is a big city, with a ton of shipping and cruise ship traffic.  You have to call into harbor control before you enter the harbor to be allowed permission and to confirm no large ships are coming or leaving.  We were about 4 miles out and I always get nervous when we are navigating a new channel.  I was ready to drop the sails, reel in the lines, and motor in the rest of the way.  Preston wanted to fish a little longer to try and get me my fish tacos.  The reason I wanted to get everything in order is because I didn’t want to be sitting at the entrance of the very busy harbor trying to get the sails down and reeling in the fishing lines blocking the entrance and being in the way.  We agreed that at 3 miles out we would get the boat ready.  I swear not 10 seconds later bzzzzzzzzzzz went the fishing line.  Dan grabbed it and started reeling it in but it was too late and the fish had gotten off already.  Ahhhh so close. 
“Okay Preston we are 3” BZZZZZZZZZZZ RHZZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ oh man we had a big one!  Thrashing out of the sea, sparkling white was all we saw. 
“It’s a sailfish!” Preston yelled. 
We saw some sort of long beak when it was soaring though the air and were already trying to figure out what kind of fish we had.  BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ the line was going and going and going.  Preston would reel in a couple feet and then the fish would take 20 feet.  Ohh I also forgot to mention we were already cutting it close on daylight and the sun was setting and light was diminishing quickly.  While Preston was trying to get this thing onboard Dan and I reeled in the other 2 lines, dropped the sails, and got one engine running.  That’s right our starboard engine would not start again.  So here we are a 36’ sailboat with one 9.9hp engine sitting right at the entrance to Nassau harbor with a container ship headed straight for us.  I had already called Harbor Control and was given permission to come in and anchor where we wanted to.  Our situation had changed a little bit and we were going to be longer that expected, but everything seemed straightforward.  Twenty maybe thirty minutes later Preston had the fish close enough to the boat for Dan to gaff and bring aboard.  It was definitely a Marlin and he fought till the last second trying hard not to become fish tacos.  

Now here we were entering the harbor all sunlight gone following the markers through the skinny channel focusing so much on where the next markers were we didn’t notice the pilot ship buzzing around us and the gigantic cruise ship headed straight for us.  “Turn, turn turn,” I cranked the wheel and we flipped around and with our single 9.9hp engine we were going to outrun a cruise ship?  Well barley we did!  Just around the corner to the channel we turned into the rocky shore to get out of the way of the monster baring down on us.  Another twenty minutes later we were dropping the hook and Preston was cutting up enough fillets to feed us for a month, and we only kept half of the fish.  We gave half of the fish to a local that didn’t quite understand why we didn’t want the perfect meat.  He couldn’t grasp the concept that our freezer just won’t hold any more meat.  So Happy Birthday to me I will be having fish tacos for a month straight!  Be careful what you wish for…….


  1. Happy Birthday Tara! We were thinking about you yesterday! Besides your fishy wishes, we hope all birthday wishes come true! Love, Tanner and Jamie and kids

  2. Happy birthday TKS! I miss you guys so much! Remember when our bratwurst-in-Germany pictures? that's how I picture you guys eating up the fish taco-pocalypse.

  3. You need those Extra Big Taco Shells! Can't use the excuse that "The Big One Got Away" What a fishing tale.........................only this time you have photos.

  4. Too awesome!! Someone, Quick, invent the technology to fax ourselves, I want to smell and feel the ocean air and taste that Marlin. Those smiles on Pres and Dan are the best of all.