Thursday, 5 November 2015

CAPTAIN HOOK FAILS FISHING 101. 5th November 2015

Pushing on south lighthouses still dominate every headland. The original Cape Henry light house was the first Light house authorized by the US government. 1792. The lighthouse was damaged by Confederate forces during the American Civil War then repaired by Union forces in 1863, who depended on the light for navigation. In the 1870s, following a lightning strike that caused large cracks in the structure concerns about the condition and safety of the old Lighthouse at Cape Henry  led to the construction of a new, 350 feet tall, lighthouse in 1881.

Cape Henry at the Entrance to Chesapeak Bay. The old and the new.

Our arrival into Rudee Inlet anchorage was awaited with great anticipation. Not the least because the weather rounding the Cape Henry Lighthouse was crappy. Not dangerous but just unpleasant. 
Our friend Walter aka "Marnie" lives in Virginia Beach and had offered to come pick us up and go do some shopping or whatever. After brief introductions to Mason and Donna, Walters friends who live on the lake, and to whom we were grateful for the use of their dingy dock. Then it was straight to the nearest Bed Bath and Table for a Mattress Warmer.... in Aus its know as an Electric Blanket. With that firmly within my grasp we filled a gas bottle and went out for a great dinner. Next day we again visited with Donna and Mason and then Walter took us to his amazing house C1630! where we dined on duck, expertly cooked  by master chef Walter!. We caught up with Trish, Walters sister who we had met in the Bahamas last year.
More photos of the Chesapeake Bay area 
Buildings adjacent to the Cape Henry lighthouse
Tuesday was shaping up for a suitable departure weather wise for a rounding of Cape Hatteras so we said our farewells, pulled out our anchor without snagging Walters old mooring and motored out the inlet. 
C 1630

After an uneventful 24 hours and a comfortable rounding of the Cape we were settling into our watches nicely until fate intervened to provide some excitement and a new cruising experience.
Well David was on watch and had a Rapala lure with two triple Gang hooks on it. He hooked a good size False Albacore ... Like a Bonito. Bloody awful eating... And was bemoaning all the effort involved to get it in. As he was lifting it up on the line, with the rod at the stern quarter, it suddenly got off and the lure flicked back and up, hitting David in the upper forehead. It went in a good way. About half an inch of the business end, including the barb, was well and truly engaged!
This isn't the original..... that's on the doctors wall!
Not much blood and not much pain, strangely. We were about 18 hours from Beaufort which is a detour of about 20nm from our course. Well he managed, with some assistance, to cut the barb off the rest of the gang leaving about 1/4 inch of the shank sticking out. Then he insisted that I put it back out backwards. Well I had some local anesthetic and a needle and syringe so I slid some down beside the hook. I don't know how much use it was but anyway ... Using all my strength... I don't know how he put up with it.... I tried to budge that hook to no avail. So then, multigrips firmly locked onto it, he tried! No! Couldn't budge it. Gave up. Took a couple of Panamax and a glass of red wine and went to bed! Couple of hours later it was a bit sore but we just motored on.... There was no wind.... Rounded Cape Lookout and headed into Beaufort NC the following morning. 
Luckily, when we came north a couple of months ago, we met Chris and Tippy Montleon in  Beaufort. They had directed us to their friends in Galesville, where we were so warmly welcomed. Well they were very happy to see us again, and ran down to take us to a clinic. The surgery wanted all sorts of personal details on pages of forms, then kept us waiting 2 hours only to tell David that they couldn't do it and that he should go to Hospital emergency.
Well... Chris phoned one of his old fishing mates and found the contact, nearby, of a doctor who has had lots of fish hook experience. He has a board on his surgery wall of hooks in all sizes and shapes that he has removed from various parts of past patients.

Tippy insisted I come to a girls lunch which she was expected at, while Chris took David off to the new doctor. An hour or so later and a lot more forms, it was out. He used another big needle which he slid down the shank and positioned over the barb, and then he withdrew it the way it went in. Clever. No stitches but a couple of closure tapes. Like stitches. He was surprised it was looking so go after 24 hours and a dirty rusty fishy hook in there. Asked what it had on it. David didn't know but I had used the trusty Butisin Pictrate again! Anyway he gave him some antibiotics and a tetanus shot and off the boys went to lunch so apart from kissing $300 goodbye there really wasn't much damage. Lucky it wasn't an eye!!
Moral of the story.....gaff the bloody fish before you try to lift it out of the water.!!!
I didn't mention that Beaufort North Carolina is a really big fishing destination. That weekend, for 3 days they hosted the final of some huge fishing competition. People who had qualified come from all over the world to charter great big game boats and compete. As we were entering Beaufort about 100 boats were heading out to catch that elusive Big One! I wonder if the Doctor got any more trophies for his Surgery wall!
Well the best bit was that Tippy and I had a great lunch and the girls were all good fun and interested in out travels. Another amazing coincidence.... Donna, one of tippy friends, runs a B&B in Beaufort and she said one of her regular clients and now a very good friend, comes from Perth and stays with them regularly. It turns out it was Chris Norman and his wife Bev, who we know from Perth. We had Taipan in a dock at the fishing boat harbor while their flash new catamaran Duplicity, was in the Fremantle Yacht club across the road. But anyway was so weird knowing yet another West Ozzie. We took Chris n Tippy to dinner at a nice little seafood place. Not expensive but very nice. With a few extra groceries we picked up along the way, we were back aboard  by 9.30. Very successful day all round really.
Friday, we had a good weather forecast light and motoring ...supposed to be.....but it became rougher and more uncomfortable as wind built... But warmer, thank goodness. We went straight through to Fernandina Beach arriving on Sunday.

We had a lot of dolphin around the boat for several hours off Frying Pan Shoals north of Beaufort, and although the half moonlight was not quite enough light, with the phosphorescence and the sound of their splashing and breathing it was pure magic. Lots of dolphins joined us again as we left Beaufort and in crystal clear blue water I spent some time on the bow photographing them. Impossible to get their out of water acrobatics though. They stayed with us for about 200 miles. Disappearing only for about ten min at a time then back spinning and jumping all round. They left when the wind dropped and we slowed down around Brunswick GA.
Altogether we were pleased to be back in northern Florida where we are once again warm.
Fernandina Halloween.