A different way of fishing ….
After the splash on May 23, Zeezwaluw stayed at anchor in Woburn Bay for a fortnight. Just long enough to get the life raft serviced by Sea Safety Service and filling up the gas bottle.
Even the second forestay was improved by the rigger with a kind of “elbow” to be able to secure her to the port side in a proper way, when not in use. Thereafter it was time to leave Woburn Bay. The first sail was to Flamingo Bay in the Marine Park at the West coast of Grenada.
In this tranquil bay the crew witnessed “team fishing” as in the old days. A little fishing boat with 3 men rowed away from the beach to give out a very long fishing net of which the end was secured to the beach. Halfway down the bay a second boat with an engine helped them to take the other end of the net to the beach and secured it at the beach as well. There was a 100m distance between both ends. 2 boys rowed the first boat to the middle of the net and tied it there to keep the net in place and swam back to the beach.
The net lay, more or less in a circle. The fisherman let the net rest for an hour before they slowly pulled the net in by pulling at both ends. This is very heavy team work and almost impossible with the 5 fisherman the Zeezwaluw crew saw pulling. But out of the blue, people where showing up (with buckets) and started to help the 5 men. A local fisherman we saw every day passing with his boat filled with Bonito’s, helped as well. In the end +20 people (men & women) were pulling at the net.
The spectators who took now the most prominent seats were the seagulls silently occupying the rowing boat attached to the middle of the net. The last part of the huge net contained jumping silvery fish who could not escape anymore.
All the helping hands filled the hold of the fishermen’s boat and once fully loaded, he alone set off to sell his cargo.
The other helpers were allowed to fill their buckets, baskets and sacs with the remaining fish in the net as a payment for their efforts. Thereafter they disappeared one by one. The rowing crew of the other fishing boat cleaned the large net, folded it properly and waited for the return of their companion. Once he was there, together they loaded the net in the rowing boat and off they went. Towed together they left Flamingo Bay just before sunset.
So, the Zeezwaluw crew had lots of entertainment next to their own snorkelling and swimming in this lovely bay.
But the next bay was already waiting for them. From Flamingo Bay they sailed north to Tyrell Bay on Carriacou Island a tiny island also belonging to Grenada. This bay is hugh compared with Flamingo Bay but charming in a different way. Surrounded by dozens of boats they had a good time as well.
A stroll along the beach or to the little Yacht Club to take a bus into town was just a dinghy drive away.
Hillsborough is the capital of the island and the crew though to find a real town but ….. It turned out to be a 2-street town along a sandy waterfront. The little shops along these streets sell most of the daily needs but no specials at all. Even to obtain meat was difficult, but it was a great day out!
When they returned to the boat that day, they saw professionals fishing. Not human beings this time but a flock of seagulls and a few young gannets were flying along and over Zeezwaluw. At a closer look, they saw lots of tiny fish sheltering underneath Zeezwaluw. But once in a while larger fish were spurting forward to chase the smaller ones.
The little ones were jumping out of the water and out of the shelter of Zeezwaluw to try to escape but failed. The seagulls and gannets were waiting for them and caught a lot of them in mid-air. That’s nature too. The crew tried to catch this spectacle on camera and made some great shots of these “professional fishers”.
Shame they had to leave Tyrel Bay after two days to sail to Martinique directly due to an approaching Tropical Storm, named Bret.