Final approach to Bermuda and a fish story

The wind died in the middle of the night and we comfortably motor sailed to stay on schedule . Everyone slept well especially the midships crew with the minimal heel. No one was jammed into their leecloths. Another beautiful day and we were welcomed into the pre Bermudean waters by a couple of graceful Bermuda longtails. The next welcome was not quite so welcoming- multiple Portugese Man of War jellies with their clear floating Mohawk like “sails” and lots of poison amo below. We saw about 20 and quite close to our boat. Phillip had the courageous idea of trying to bring one on board for closer inspection. So bucket fishing he went. The rest of the timid crew scrambled to find the Marine Medicine textbook and bone up on the lifethreatening symptoms and the best possible treatment. For most jellies, vinegar is the best way to neutralize the toxin release. But the PMOW is an exception and so warm water at 45degrees C is your best bet. After the warm water, if the person is in s
hock, Epipen can help. Then you transfer to a hospital for an anti-venom infusion. We wondered whether Bermuda EDs had that in stock. Thankfully, Phillip’s bucket attempts were unsuccessful. We suspect that Ulf, who was at the wheel, had the wisdom to steer the boat close enough to the jelly to make Phillip believe he was helping, but never allowed a catch.

However, the story of Phillip’s fishing did have a happy ending. We were all sitting around early PM, contemplating a stale sandwich lunch, when alas one of our 2 fishing lines started to splash up. Our first thought was Sargassa seaweed, but an intense Doug thought otherwise. He methodically pulled in a magnificent 10 lb yellow fin tuna. On the floor of the cockpit, Doug and Phillip turned that prize catch into juicy steaks of tuna fillets. Ellen and Roger then cooked up a special feast of ginger tuna, lightly seared with pepper and ginger, served on a bed of cous- cous and accompanied by a pear salad. Phillip reminded us that Neptune needed to be acknowledged, so the bottled of cherry was opened and a toast was celebrated.

The lights of Bermuda are showing at the horizon now; the end of another epic day.

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