Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Statia to Montserrat

So, here's what's really happened since the last time we updated.

We hopped along the islands south from Saba, hitting Statia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe. The most exciting thing that happened was the landing of a 4 foot, 6 inch King Mackerel. There were some tense moments when I inadvertently crossed the boat over the fishing line so that it had to be reeled in against the hull. Brad brought in the monster alongside the dinghy and I hopped down and shot it in the head with the speargun. With a great deal of effort, we hauled the exhausted/half-dead fish into the dinghy. He got the last laugh though, as his sharp teeth punctured a hole in the pontoon as he lay across the boat. With all of our strength we then lifted the fish out of the sinking dinghy and onto the boat, where Brad chopped it up into 8 enormous steaks. Our estimate for the weight of the fish is about 60-70 pounds.

Upon arriving at an anchorage, we immediately flagged down cruisers interested in fish and had them spread the word around the harbor that the lucky kids on Kaleidoscope were giving away free fish. In total, we dished out about 75% of the fish away to about 6 different boats. One of the boats, Vagabond, invited us aboard that night for drinks. The young couple aboard (young here means 30s) were South African and spent hours teaching us the game of cricket in exchange for baseball explanations. We spent a good portion of the next day watching a world cup cricket match with them ashore. For those unfamiliar with cricket, it's like baseball, but somehow, slower. It was a good time, though, and we understood that the purpose of the game is to relax with a few drinks and do nothing all day.

Next up was Montserrat. Our guidebook was written in 1995 and suggests visiting the bustling capital city of Plymouth in the south. Unfortunately, that city has since been buried by a volcano, so we missed out on that attraction. Instead we anchored north and hitchhiked around the island. Everyone is friendly, even to Americans, and they all seem to know each other. I talked for a long time over a beer with a local man who claimed to be 6000 years old and an alien from another planet. He was sent to Earth to teach us humans about the power of love. I asked a few people about this man, named "Angel", and they seemed to be able to corroborate his story. Another local, however, said that he was just a heroin junkie. Such interesting people we meet here.

The next day we left Montserrat by passing the city of Plymouth about a mile offshore. It was eerily abandoned, like a post-apocalyptic ghost town. Locals had told us stories of pyroclastic flows that reached 2km offshore as recently as this year, cooking fish and lobsters in a giant ocean pot of smoldering ash. To our relief, and to our disappointment, none of this happened while we passed the island.