Mad Fish

Mad Fish
On delivery from Scotland

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Azores - Santa Maria 7th to 9th June 2013

Azores - Santa Maria 7th to 9th June 2013

The trip from Sao Miguel to Santa Maria was a motor fest. It also saw people play swap boats. Oli went on the catamaran easy rider and we had Kristian. Kristian was one of the boys pool partners. He is a Norwegian and the boys have picked up a few new swear words, let's hope they don't use them at school. Ethan obviously thinks it is hilarious that some words seem to be commonly used by other Europeans that we tend to not use in front of children. It has also become evident the use of language in 12 rated films can be rather choice too.

The monotony of motoring 50 miles was broken by catching 3 fish and landing two. The first a small tuna would have made a good family meal. We decided to keep fishing as with 15Boats on the rally someone would be sure to take a spare fish. The next hit was something big. Russell started to real, but it just kept running. He neared the end of the line so the engine was put into reverse. This worked for a short moment before the line went slack. On reeling in we found that the lure remained but the hook had gone. In the words of Dave off easy rider- "another fish was now sporting some nice mouth jewellery". We hope the comment that hooks are made of a metal which disintegrates, is true and the fish has escaped and lived to tell the tale. The third hit we were ready for. Like coiled springs we rapidly got to action stations. I was on the helm and the throttle was whipped into reverse. Kristian wound in the genoa and Russell on reel. Ethan was on camera, big knife and arm flapping duty. It took half an hour to reel in the big tuna. We lost count of how many times Kristian said shit, but the video suggests he would give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money. Kristian armed with gaff was not letting this one get away and harpooned it and we dragged it aboard. It was cleaned up and the head left on so Oli could have his picture taken too. It took both of them to lift it. We don't know how much it weighed but it fed all the ARC boats left and we think that was 60 people. An impromptu pontoon party took place. Other boats were invited to bring a side dish. We had awesome pasta, rice, couscous, tabbouleh, salads and Amelie de Oslo brought a platter of fruit. A big block of ice helped keep the beers cool and DJ Ethan kept the music playing. A real night to remember.

It took an hour to fillet, and we had 60 of them!

The next morning we were invited to join a zumba class on the dock. I have done Zumba a handful of times and know it is hardwork. A reasonable turnout was made by the younger of the arc fleet. The kids decided it was too embarrassing and watched the rest of us. Thankfully the camera battery died. Russell had some very important boat jobs to attend too. Those men who did go we're treated to the delights of the instructor who did a little strip tease as she warmed up to reveal just enough cleavage to grab the boys attention. I thought when she took her track suit top off completely they were going to have a heart attack. She shook and shimmied and for someone so toned her boobs and bottom clad in lycra shook in just the right provocative Latin way. She had them under a spell and they danced like penguins without the need for any alcohol or drugs.
They were the first men that she had ever had attend the class. I think looking at the onlooking crowd that gathered she may get a few more. I especially liked the man who stood on the side dancing whilst wearing a crash helmet.

check out the video...

On completing an hour of exercise, Carlson from Kailani asked if we were off in the car to do surfing. This had been a loose plan but at 11am perhaps we were a bit late. We were able to hire a van to fit the 8 of us in with boards strapped to the roof. We chucked some food together and wetsuits and headed off. The scenery was stunning and we finally found a beach that had some surf. Not enough for the short boards but the boys on body boards and Kailani took turns on the long board. They impressed us by just jumping on the board and paddling out into the surf in seconds, didn't get a lock of hair wet! I swear Taylor could have done the whole run dry. I had a rotten cold so didn't fancy the freezing water and Russell didn't want to show them up. Oli had a go helped by Carson and so nearly stood up. I think a trip to a surfing beach might be in order back in Cornwall.
It was then off to a cafe for a warm up.

We met Dana who owned the cafe and as she had lived in America for 40 years was keen to talk in English. The quick pit stop took sometime as she told us about her grandfather being a whaler. We enjoyed superb coffee. 

That night we were treated to a display of traditional dancing.

We said goodbye to the arc fleet as we started them on their way to Lagos. Oli was in the rib with the marina manager ( who had taken a shine to him) and yellow shirt Suzanne taking pictures. They chased the fleet and took a little tour before Oli drove back to the marina. Ethan had been given first refusal on the trip and to our surprise he wanted to be with Lyall on our boat.
The send off by Santa Maria was fantastic with these amazing drummers at the marina entrance. Once back inside it was very quiet. Only Mad Fish and Ayama remained. She too was waved off a little later as she started her trip north to the UK and then onto home in Sweeden.
It was very funny to see that they did not turn off the tracker and it showed them doing 70 miles an hour on a motorway. 

 Johanem, looking very relaxed as they start their race to Portugal.

We ventured off in the car and enjoyed a bit more dramatic scenery and a game of table football. We picked up a few extra provisions from the shop as it was a long walk up a steep hill otherwise. We were cooking dinner for Lyall and Susanah as a thank you for all their hardwork. They would fly out early in the morning for a few days of luxury in the marina hotel in Lagos before the first arc boats would arrive. Parity had left early from Sao Miguel and was due Tuesday, so they make get 5 mins peace on Monday. 

The fleet all arrived in Portugal pretty quickly and it was the turn of Kailani to surf to victory in class b with no engine hours. Well done guys. It was nice to see that with 3 legs there was a real mix of results with most boats winning a bottle for a place somewhere along the line. Ethan wrote our tribute to the event to be read out at the prize giving and drew a picture for them to put up. When he wants to be has a way with words, if only we could get his punctuation right! We have to remember he is nine. His speech and picture are below. We thought it would be read by Lyall but it was actually the director Andrew bishop , those who know him will understand why this is amusing.
Ethan cried on Sunday night when we put him to bed because he missed everyone so much.
We cheared him up by getting him out if bed and letting him go and watch the first of the fishing competion boats come in. We had watched them the night before ( I say we- me and the children whilst Russell looked after the other young ones in the yacht club bar). I managed to deduce that they left at 5pm and had to be in by 111pm. The boats were small not commercial and there was obviously an element of fun as they weighed the beer bottles and flotsam along with the fish. There was a clear winning tuna that was even bigger than ours. I think we would have made second place. We were all too tired to watch the Sunday night event and left them to it.

I have enjoyed doing the whale boating and making new friends. I have missed all of you especially Lyall, (Mr Larry). I like watching all of you on the tracker, everyone has done very well the trip to the Azores and to Portugal. It looked like it favoured all the smaller boats there are a few boats that haven’t got into the top three yet but have done really well. We are still in the Azores we are hoping to head north at the end of June it feels really weird because it is so quiet. Peat Smoke left on the 13 of June. Mum bought us each a Nerf gun so we have been shooting each other to keep us occupied. We have lost a few bullets but we will find them. We have had a haircut but just a trim. The lady got a bit carried away and now it is a bit too short. Johanem, we still have the fish, the parrot and sea gull! We have finally done some school. Our new spinnaker came on the 13 of June but it was meant to come on the 6th. I enjoyed getting the flag signed and we are going to put it up when we get home. We hope you all keep in touch if anyone catches a bigger fish than us you have got to let us know and send the picture! Our tracker is still on so you can find us on yellow brick.
I wish you all the best getting to your homes, Ethan Hawkins, age 9, for and on behalf of Mad Fish.

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