group mail play plus user camera comment close arrow-down facebook twitter instagram

Whales, Dolphins, and Fishing Fiascos

I am sitting on the poop deck, watching Saint Helena shrink on the horizon. We all enjoyed our stay at the island, and I could have laid at anchor for a few days more, watching fish swim by. But being on land is hectic, and being back in our routine on the sea feels like a welcome change. In the last two days, you could find crew members all over Jamestown, writing cards for their family, shopping, and making some calls. Offline, back on Europa, peace has returned, and we can focus on the present again.

I will miss the marine life curiously approaching the ship - our presence is always noticed. Wherever we humans go, we have an impact, whether we want to or not. In Cape Town, we had the luck of seals swimming by almost daily. In Jamestown, some fortunate crew members, those not out exploring the island, spotted a whale right next to the bow of the ship. Yesterday, we had a group of rough-toothed dolphins circle around the Europa. And every night, several species of fish would hang around in the light coming from our window, visible thanks to the clarity of the water. It was genuinely mesmerizing to watch these huge schools of fish circle in patterns up and down the ship, without us really knowing what they are doing exactly or why.

Also unbelievable, a bit funny and a bit sad are the fishing attempts of engineer Niels. Fanatically, he fishes day and night, without ever catching anything. Niels even arranged a fishing license for Jamestown. It was meant to catch a few fish while at anchor, but he received a permit for 20 Mtons of adult Yellowfin Tuna, 10 Mt of Wahoo, and 750 Mt of Albacore Tuna. Interesting how a tourist can accidentally get a permit for these amounts and species, but as he is still struggling to catch a fish at all, we are not too worried. In Jamestown, he finally caught one, but alas, it was a poisonous, endangered, and endemic Melliss’s scorpionfish. Absolutely stunning to see it out of the water, as I didn’t get to see its bright red color during the dive. It was returned to the ocean, and an edible fish has yet to be caught. If it’s up to me, we will arrive in Montevideo without a single fish caught; for the welfare of the fish, and to have something to tease Niels with.

Comment on this article