From my experience of dating a fisherman, there is no “romantic” getaway, only a masked fishing excursion. On our fishing holiday in Mozambique, Carlos suggested that we take two days off from marlin fishing to go spend some quality time together, just the two of us…well, and Antonio, our very friendly skipper.
A boat ride across clear waters to set up camp on the secluded peninsula of San Sebastian -I was sold!
At 5am, whilst I was still lazing in a comfortable bed (because it was my day), Carlos was making a hell of a racket! Upon stumbling out to see what all the commotion was about, Carlos was standing surrounded by fishing tackle – all packed and ready for “romance”. Jigging rods, popping rods, surf spinning rods, light spinning rods, bait rods – you name it, it was there! Being a (soon to be) fishwife, I thought it was a bit excessive but as I had never fished on that side of the continent before I was keen to get a few species under my belt!
We loaded the boat, climbed aboard and set off for a night of solitude. But first we had to stock up on some fresh carapao which meant a quick stop at all the local fishing boats. We then had to drop off Antonio’s cousin on Paradise island. A slower start than expected but the clear water,thousands of garfish, dolphins, turtles, birds and the isolation that one can experience out at sea, made it all worth it!
Upon arrival at San Sebastian, we grabbed our spinning rods and headed across to the seaside of the peninsula. We managed a few wave garrick and black fin kingies but the GT’s eluded us. After setting up camp, we put out a few baits which saw us land a sandshark and black tip reef shark. We called it a night, lit our fire, drank some wine (out of stainless steel mugs) and had a lovely beach-spiced braai. Whilst enjoying my sandy steak, I noticed a rather peculiar amount of (what I classify as rather large) crabs surrounding us and notified Carlos about it. But not a problem, Carlos assured me that the tent was crab-proof!
After too much wine we made our way to the tent.. only to discover that the zips were non-existant. Even though after previous use (which was 4 years before) “everything was perfect”! We climbed into our tent, propped up the entrance with bottles and attempted to sleep – Carlos was out within seconds whilst I lay awake listening to what seemed like millions of pincers grabbing at our tent in the few seconds of silence, between snores. However, the fresh air and excitement from the day eventually got the best and me and I drifted into a solid two hours of sleep only to be woken by a crustacean attempting to make its way into my sleeping bag. Needless to say, I could have set records for the potato sack race with that sleeping bag. After having the intruder removed from the premises I was interrogated as to why I had so much fear of something so small and harmless… not something a woman wants to be lectured about at 2am in the morning, after very little sleep, whilst under constant crab attack. After a few minutes of heated debate, and after securing all entrances to my sleeping bag, we drifted in and out of sleep between crab removals.
Sunrise, (at 4:30am) and the instant heat that came with it, saw us pack up our campsite – after a lovely nights rest, and head back to the boat. We both attempted to be enthusiastic about the day that lay ahead of us – targetting the reefs for a few decent pulls. But the lack of sleep, coupled with a grand total of zero fish for the morning, saw the last of the enthusiasm disappear rapidly. We secured the tackle, zoomed “home”, showered and had the most amazing sleep on the most comfortable bed in the world!
Whilst our romantic getaway was not exactly what I had envisioned, I would not change a single thing… Life is too short for uneventful holidays and a few spanners in the works. The few new species on the catch list also had its role to play in preventing our getaway from turning into a nightmare.
PS. We said good riddance to the tent upon packing up to return back to South Africa. Antonio, I hope you will grow to have fonder memories of that tent than me.