Around 9 a.m. on Monday, January 9th, we raised the mainsail, the anchor and then the jib leaving Conception Island behind. We dropped two fishing lines in the water hoping we'd get lucky and had a wonderful sail down to Long Island experiencing winds 10-15 knots and rolling seas about 5-8 feet. It was a bright sunny day and it felt wonderful to sail again. Suddenly, we hear the high pitch ZZZZEEEE of the reel. I quickly take the wheel and head downwind to slow the boat while Rankin began reeling in our catch. As fish the fought and jumped, we quickly realized we had a Mahi Mahi (dolphin) and he was quite large. Rankin worked hard reeling him in, I grabbed the gaff while autopilot steered the boat. Rankin quickly gaffed it and brought the fish aboard. I took the obligatory photos as Rankin smiled and held up his catch.
With the fish aboard, I handled the wheel while Rankin managed to fillet it as the boat rose and fell with the seas. It was unnerving to watch him wielding the sharp filleting knife while we rocked along. We arrived in Long Island around 3 p.m., anchored and had fresh fish for dinner. Shortly after our arrival, we were joined by two sailboats Dreams Float and Curiosity.
We haven't been to Long Island since February, 2003 and it hasn't changed much. We went ashore the other day to explore and quickly discovered not much has changed. It's like time has stood still here (except now we have WiFi). Mario and Claudia still own the Flying Fish Marina and are as nice as ever. The Packing House still sells local fresh fruits and veggies. During our visit to the Packing House, the papaya were very green and one of the ladies went behind the building to check the tree and see if they had any riper papaya. Unfortunately, I was out of luck maybe next time. The people are still as friendly and accommodating as I remember and one of the reasons we loved this little community so much. It was sad to find out that the larger grocery store (Harbor View groceries) located near Clarence Town had closed, however, the other small grocery is still open.
We haven't done much exploring during this visit though we did enjoy an excellent Conch Burger at the marina restaurant. It was very tasty and reasonably priced. Rankin and I each had a Conch Burger, split an order of fries and each had water for a total of $20. It seems that the prices haven't changed much down here either (YEAH).
Lately, we've been spending time plotting our course south and watching weather. A weak cold front just came through the other day with little impact here, however another strong cold front is expected here on Monday. Based on weather, it looks like we'll be here until that time and then head south to Jamaica unless we can get a good window to Columbia. We'll keep you posted, so keep checking back for updates.