I left Chipiona in mild weather, so it came as quite a surprise to find myself thoroughly tossed about in the muddy tidal ebb of the Guadalquivir river. As I crossed the line drawn by a sea colour change, the conditions settled and I enjoyed a trouble free ride all the way to Mazagaon, (a little less that 40NM to the northwest).
On route, my lucky blue lure caught me another free meal. Five miles from my destination, when I had just finished cleaning this latest windfall, I was taken aback when intercepted and boarded by Spanish customs.
My concern was that they might impose some sort of penalty as I belatedly wondered whether there might be size limits on tuna catches for these waters. I had heard horror stories of cruisers being fined several thousand Euro for catching octopus (apparently protected in some areas), and perhaps I’d fall victim to some obscure regulation of which I was totally unaware.
As the customs vessel approached they indicated that they would come alongside, so I took out several fenders from the push-pit lockers and simultaneously stowed my questionable catch.
I needn’t have worried, while one officer sat (on the locker hiding my catch) reviewing my boat documentation, the other helped me decide which ports I should visit on my future travels along the Portuguese coast. They were very pleasant company and even posed for a couple of snapshots.
Snug at my assigned berth in Mazagon I set about the serious business of preparing my hidden treasure. Seared in very hot olive oil with a few bay leaves and served with sliced avocado, mayonnaise and a dash of pepper. A true delight.
It’s days like this that make me truly appreciate the cruising lifestyle. As I enjoyed an accompanying glass of white wine my only regret was that I had nobody with which to share the moment. My consolation however, was that there was a second helping of fried tuna to be had. 🙂