The sleepy daily routine here in La Restinga (population 500) has been easy to adapt to after all that excitement. There is snorkelling to be had even in the harbour, a two minute walk casts you out into an endless tapestry of volcanic hills and dark crumbling cliffs cascading into azure waters, and it is difficult to invoke the atmosphere of barely suppressed excitement which grips the village on the day the butcher van visits (Thursday).
Skipper is finding time to dust off his baking skills (“I’m not interested in making crap baguettes, when I make baguettes they’re gonna be f***ing good baguettes.”) and my latest hobby of choice, paddleboarding, has not only improved my fitness levels but provided social interaction in the form of rugged old fishermen pointing at me and asking if I can “catch fish with that thing”.
The experience of cleaning my first fish began as traumatic and ended as a savage primeval bloodfest. After patient skipper made the first incision I clenched my teeth and sawed its squishy belly open, revealing an oozing mass of bloody entrails, tubes and tendons, which he eagerly plunged his hand into, pulled out and cast into the ocean. It was I who stepped in to remove the final organ (something non-vital) with my little finger. By the time I’d finished gouging out its scales with a blunt knife I had developed not only an appreciation of the intricate physiology (fishiology?) of a fish, but also an image of myself as raft paddling fish skinning native tribeswoman. It made me wonder whether perhaps I shouldn’t forgoe boat life, move into a cave, eat fish and sunbathe naked. Fate has intervened by providing a vacant cave, after the local mad woman was arrested just after Christmas for stealing a car.
I shall give it some thought.
Before I go, I am sure you may be wondering how the fruit hammock faired in such rough conditions. Let’s just say, it was a massacre. You don’t get over losing that many bananas in a hurry. And as for the other veg, here is a picture of me siphoning off mouldy, squished up carrot and seawater juice from the cockpit locker.