The Adventurer goes on these grand rants about “living off the grid” and “eating from the sea”. That’s all well and good, but so far, what we have saved on electricity has been spent on buying a generator which runs on stinky diesel, replacing the inverter, and buying an extra solar panel. Now I do understand that you have to spend money to save money, but we also had to replace all of our computer and phone chargers which shorted out after being plugged in while the generator was running. And as for “eating from the sea”, the only ones eating well are the fish who are getting all the pilchards, prawns and chicken fillet offcuts they can wrangle off the hook.

On our honeymoon, The Adventurer told me all sorts of tales about where we were going. We wouldn’t need to fill the pantry, he told me. We would fish all day and eat our catch at night. There were also oysters a-plenty, ready to be picked off the rocks with a knife. In 5 days we caught 1 fish, and even that gave him the slip and jumped back into the water when he went to clean it. As for the oysters, I sat in the sun for 2 hours as The Adventurer tried to prise them off the rocks with inappropriate tools. Finally, he got one and brought it to me. The look on his face was like a cat when it brings a dead bird to it’s owner. Beaming with pride, he handed me the shell with an oyster so small, one lick and it was gone.

Having said that, I have to admit I love to fish. I love everything about it…except I don’t like to touch the actual fish. Or clean them. On the rare occasion that I actually manage to haul one up, I swing my rod around to The Adventurer to get him to get it off. That makes it a bit tricky if I want to fish when he is not around. On those occasions, I fake fish. I bait the hook, and sit back with my glass of bubbly and a gossip mag and when I feel a tug-tug on the line I just say “Hello little fishy” and let him have a munch. After all, it’s important to fatten them up for when I am really fishing.

The first time I caught a fish worthy of the fry pan, I was alone. We were moored in a nice quiet little bay and it was blowing an absolute gale. It was already dark and The Adventurer had taken Doglet to shore for a pee. I had been “fake” fishing all day – albeit unintentionally. As soon as The Adventurer left, I felt an almighty tug on the line – the kind that made me drop my mag and spill my bubbly! I struggled to keep the rod, and myself, from going overboard. I knew this fish meant business…and breakfast. My screams for The Adventurer to come back and help went unheard as the wind carried my plaintive cries into the night. Finally, I pulled my catch up. It was a good sized black bream. My problem then was what to do with it. I couldn’t get it off the hook. That would involve touching it! Instead I threw the fish, hook, line, sinker , rod and reel into the kitchen where the fish landed in the sink. I was trying to decide whether it was more humane to fill the sink with water or to just let it flail around until it died when it extricated itself from the hook from all it’s flip-flopping. That was one problem solved. After a couple of minutes, it stopped struggling and gave in to the reality that it would soon be in my fry pan. I decided to leave it there for The Adventurer to deal with.

“Everything alright?” he enquired on his return. “Yes, but I was going to do the dishes but the water wouldn’t drain. I think something’s blocking the sink”. That should have been a dead giveaway right there – I don’t do the dishes! I cook. He cleans. It’s a perfect combo. He said he’d check it out, but went about the boat doing other things. Meanwhile, I am giggling under my breath like a 5 year old playing hide and seek. Finally he went to the kitchen, but still didn’t see it staring back at him from the sink. Was this man blind as well as selectively deaf? He grabbed a plunger and went to the sink. He let out a scream, like a girl, I say, (although he denies this) as his first thought was “How the hell did this swim up the plug hole?”.

There were 2 downsides to eating the fish for breakfast the next morning. The first thing was it was too big for my one and only fry pan. The second

The One That Didn't Get Away

was it had frozen overnight in the fridge so I had to thaw it out before cooking it. That spoiled the occasion as it was like cooking something bought from the supermarket freezer rather being my first big catch of the day!