What a strange Winter and Spring it has been – it feels like we’ve barely been outside but the period from New Year to now has flown by. Thankfully our boat didn’t need much work on it this year – well, there are always things that my husband wants to do. Grand future projects that impress me no end with his incredible vision but for now he serviced the engine, re-painted inside and out and mended a few errant parts. All in all we got to see a lot more of him than we did previous winters – and how lovely was that!
So, come the beginning of April the boat was ready to go into the water…and joy of joys, it snowed as it was going in and what’s more shocking – the sea was only 4˚C! That’s very cold for the time of year and sadly it meant that the mackerel were definitely not biting.
Did I tell you our exciting news? No 1 son is getting married next month and we’re all looking forward to it enormously, especially our daughter who is a bridesmaid. The master plan was for my husband to catch enough mackerel for the starter. The bizarre seasons did not help – in fact they kiboshed the plan completely.
Instead my husband settled for a few gentle trips on the boat, a little more work on the engine and a more relaxed aim to catch anything that would jump onboard. The week before the wedding, he managed to land 6 fish (1 Black Bream and some unknown fish that we think are Pouting). So we couldn’t supply the wedding but we could start the fish season in style and enjoy the catch. I look forward to many more fish this year, especially the onboard sushi’d Mackerel.
Well, I have to give you some news…my husband has taken his boat out fishing for the last time this year. It’s due to head to dry land for the winter for a clean and some winter tweaking.
Oh, hang on a minute – it’s still in the water and he took it out again this weekend. Well how can that be? I’m sure he told us that he was going fishing for the last time this year, last weekend. And the weekend before, and the weekend before that and so on. My daughter and I now burst out laughing every time he takes the boat out as it’s always preceded by those words ” you must come with me, it’s the last time I’m taking the boat out this year”.
We honestly don’t want to miss the last bit of boating of the year but we just don’t know when it’ll be. A few years ago we had a wonderful trip out to sea one November and whilst we didn’t go swimming we did enjoy some warm sunshine. The weather this year has been so peculiar that we’re getting a load of rain in the week but luckily the weekends have been bright and clear. Hence, we hold on a little longer and off trots my husband fishing rod and worms in hand. Unfortunately, the fish have decided they’ve had enough and they have gone south (or deep?) and disappeared so no more fresh fish for us this year.
However we do have an amazingly crazy husband and father who got up at 6am to head out to sea. The sky was bright and clear but there was the little matter of a frost – the first frost of the year. This meant I had to scrap ice off my car. So whilst we went and did our lengths in the swimming pool, my husband had his smile frozen on his face as he snuck in another boat trip. There are two reasons I love our boat – the fish, and that smile. I hope we keep on boating long into winter!
Have you tried fresh mackerel? No come on, I don’t mean fish you’ve just brought from the supermarket or fishmonger. I mean the fish that has been just caught from the sea. OK, I’m very lucky I know a slightly crazy and friendly fisherman (ie husband!) who likes to head out to sea at the weekends. He has a particular penchant for catching mackerel which is fantastic as they’re one of my favourite fish. One weekend a few years ago he came back with 74 fish! We ended up distributing them to friends up and down our street and filling our freezer.
He’s since tried to focus on catching other fish – sea bream, sea bass and plaice amongst others. They’re great and quite delicious but I think the difference between supermarket and fresh mackerel is so significant I would be as happy as Larry just to get a net full of those each week.
One of our favourite ways to spend the evening is sitting on our boat in the mooring eating freshly caught and lightly cooked mackerel as the sun goes down.
As the season comes to an end, we’ve had far too few evenings eating fresh fish on our boat but our freezer is full of mackerel and so I raise a glass to the produce of the sea and my husband for bringing it home to us. Here’s to next season and better weather.