- Apr 15, 2014
- Apr 03, 2014
- Apr 02, 2014
Negotiating a reef inlet, be it in the Bahamas or the South Pacific, requires precise navigation and skilled seamanship. Detailed charts are essential, and you should always consult any local sailing directions you have onboard in advance.
They didn’t hoist the Jolly Roger or fire a shot across my bow, but their intentions were worrisome. I was 80 miles off the coast of Nicaragua, on a rhumb line course from Panama to Key West. The seas were sloppy and felt more like Mother Maytag than Mother Ocean. My Spanish is bueno, and I had been trying to raise my visitors on the radio for 20 minutes. Surely the four hombres aboard the 70-foot rust museum weren’t blasting through these dreadful seas just to sell me a fish.
Anchored off a fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula, my daughters, Eleanor (8) and Frances (6), sat at the dinette, manipulating small piles of found objects and plastic pieces into spiral shapes as part of some kid of game.
It is surprising to me that so few sailors are also fishermen. When joining a new boat for a passage, I often ask to see what kind of fishing gear the crew has on board. Almost always, I receive a puzzled look, or perhaps a mildly apologetic one, as my fellow sailors wonder where they last saw the jumbled mass of line, hooks and lead weights they call “gear.”