A Fishy Tale in Sardinia

Well we made it through Fornelli’s Passage in glorious sunshine, after enjoying the beauty of the north west coast of Sardinia.  We sailed for a while and then the wind backed and dropped so unfortunately the donk went on again.  The island of Asinara looks very rugged and bleak, it is now a nature and marine reserve but has a history of being a penal colony and a quarantine base, and up to the 90’s housed high risk prisoners.

After clearing the passage, we made our way still in very shallow waters to our anchorage a few miles on close to the mainland, as we entered I realised we were still trawling our fishing line so started to reel it in quickly – and then got a bite!  Frantically reeling I could see the fish being pulled through the water and then a seagull landed on it and immediately jumped off. Mum helped me get a bucket to land it in and as I guided the fish into the bucket it flipped and sliced my thumb with its spines – immediate agonising burning pain. My first reaction was to run downstairs to run it under a cold tap, then TCP, then ice AAGGHH nothing was stopping the pain and it was excruciating, from two little cuts it just didn’t seem possible. Meanwhile with Jez’s crew having abandoned him he put sails away and anchored all on his own!  The pain and swelling worsened and then started to move into my wrist and arm, so Mum called for help and we were directed to Asinara Island and Fornelli’s Beach.  A 20 min ride in the dinghy to the Island, and we were greeted with a wild boar milling about, which Jez scared off, and then a police landrover arrived and we were whisked across the Island dodging all the donkeys, goats and wild boar lying in the road! We finally arrived at the Islands’ medical centre where a group of people were waiting to help me. A cocktail of drugs through a drip and within half hour I was smiling again!  Pain over, thank god.  The doctor told us that the two main injuries they treat are fish spines in feet, and pig bites!!  We were both pleased Jez had scared off that boar!

The drive back to our dinghy in another police vehicle was much more relaxed and I was able to take in the beauty of the Island, so many animals roaming about free I have never seen so many in one journey!  The Italian policeman, who didn’t speak any English, stopped each time and told us the name of the animal in Italian!  Amongst other things we saw lots of white donkeys which are native to the Island and a little Owl sitting in the road, as by now it was almost dark.  A whiz back to the anchorage and we found Mum flashing the torch to show us where we had left Joy. Drama over!  A swollen hand for a few days after and I was back to being a valid crew mate again!  And no, we didn’t eat the fish – it was thrown back in alive!

m_The Fish That Stings

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