An episode of Tales from the Tropics ™
Where : The Sea (Caribbean) and English Harbour Antigua.
What : One marlin only but king fish, tons of wahoo (yeah !), dolphin fish (not dolphins !) also known as mahi mahi and rainbow runners I think.
My time was getting short in Antigua and my heart was heavy. It has been a hell of a time for me and life was too good for the 3 whole months they were gracious enough to give me at the airport upon arrival. Little did I know at that time the people I would encounter and the friendships I would strike up. That’s the real essence of travel FOR ME at least. Sure places can be amazing but there is nothing like being away from home to bring out your real self. And this then counts for the people you meet often as well and hence why the best friendships I have struck up have been while on such adventures. Give it a go before it’s too late – but here this it’s never too late!
Well one mini event to make the mood less heavy was the fishing tournament’s weigh in. A fishing match open to anyone you just have to get up at stupid o’clock and keep flying on the rum rather than battle a hangover. On board you might try to keep the flow natural. But the main name of the game is trolling. You understand that I missed a trick and didn’t partake in the most fun part. I don’t have a boat * and the people that I know who do stuff on boats just work on them. I wasn’t about to swan in on their perk. So I just got to enjoy the festivities at the weigh in as did hundreds of others.
It was 3 in the afternoon and I had my last dip for the moment in pigeon point beach and set off around the corner for the harbour. Lord Horatio Nelson really did at one point preside over affairs here as the English established a base to strengthen the territories in the west indies. English harbour is a natural one that was selected with high lookouts and fort points from which to fire cannon down into any marauders. Today the flags were the surf kind that sponsors like and there were it has to be said a few too many. There were wine bars cocktail stands and BBQ’s a big set of digital scales allowed photographic opportunities for the fisherman great white hunters that some were 😉
The first boat came in shortly and then all of a sudden they all seemed to be in. Wifi was available and instagram got a rare spike of photos from me. Though I kept having to get close to the scales. Well done guys for getting wifi and not locking it off. So the fish were egressed from the boats into wheelbarrows and then taken to be weighed. Dolphin fish, barracuda, wahoo, king fish the pelagics that get around and have a turn of speed were the fishes most caught. After they were taken back to the boats for cleanup and subsequent gutting etc. Here is where you will see some of the more gory stuff.
To think a few hours ago these fish were cock of the walk in their world. Piers Morgans if you like – now there’s a tangential thought when faced with such a still end game. In truth I would have liked to escape the camera a bit more however the flip side will be me enjoying and reliving the afternoon from the photos. I met various people most I had known some new and it was a family affair. It got busier with boats families and the sun shone down – and I got my first coup du soleil after 3 months. Just a couple of hours running up and down the line of boats looking for the marlins and sail fish I had expected since my last fishing tournament. I decided that I was not going to hang round as Guinness were painting the town black and I had seen all I wanted. I also wanted to enjoy Fig Tree Drive on last time under the sun. I got to the end of the line of boats and kept walking around – I dare not look back as I may have stayed forever. I was going to blast my joyride riddim over the pass.
What lay before me on exiting I have never seen before in all my umpteen times here at the entrance to English Harbour. A sea of cars for as far as the eye could see. Is this what race week is like? All of a sudden Antigua fills up every year. I will be back reporting on this very different time of the year. Anyway Bashment Girl awaited to bury my thoughts and once more I flicked the rio into D for the last Fig Tree Drive I may ever do if my luck one day runs out – no chance no worries menawa leave.
Follow my life in photos