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BARBUDA However, we wanted to do our best in order to catch bonefish and Nick told us that in Barbuda (the other island of this state) there was a lagoon called Codrington Lagoon, but he had never been there and couldn’t help us much in this respect. Nevertheless, he helped us a lot by organizing our journey from Antigua to Barbuda, he booked our ferry to get there and the flight back, but most of all he arranged our meeting with Shiraz, a man living in Barbuda who owns a boat. Shiraz organizes excursions for the tourists who want to watch the flamingos and the several other birds which build nests in this immense lagoon, and for those who want to spend some days on beaches impossible to reach without a boat. Furthermore, he also made himself available to be our fishing guide, but let’s say that he’s not just a real guide like Nick. Shiraz came and picked us up when the ferry arrived, he took us to a small supermarket where we could buy something to eat and drink and especially ice to put into our freezer bag, as we would have to spend two

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days in a tent in that place, without any contact with civilization. We left on a boat and arrived in the middle of the lagoon, where Shiraz thought there was a good place to pitch our tent. I said “Shiraz thought”, as he had never seen anybody do that before. It was a dream place where silence and nature reigned and the only noise you could hear was that of the wind moving the leaves of the mangroves…we got confused for a while seeing such a paradise, but we had little time to lose, as we had to prepare the camp for our nights and it was nearly sunset. We managed to pitch our tent, lit a good fire and arranged everything before dusk. I slept little and badly because I had no mattress, but most of all because I had the fixed idea of bonefish!!! Would there ever be any, as they said? I hadn’t seen any so far….Would I ever see any? Would we have the right flies for them? Would there be the right light to see them? Would they appear in shoals or would they be solitary specimens to follow and sight-fish? In short, I had all those thoughts and anxieties that a fisherman has when he goes to a new place on his own, without a

guide, without any information, without knowing anything about anything. Luckily, the night was fast over and before dawn I was already outside my tent. I prepared myself a coffee, got the rod ready and waited till it dawned. The sun rose in an instant, but the clouds hid it and the water visibility was scarce, the wind blew hard, in short the conditions were not good. I put on my boots and began to walk through this immense lagoon, without knowing where to go and what to do. I started thinking, reflecting, concentrating and attentively observing the water to notice even the slightest sign of the fish. Something moved (guides normally call this situation “nervous water”), adrenalin went up, I got nearer very slowly. I observed carefully while the sun came out of the clouds for a moment. I thought: “Here we are”. I waited for one more moment for those fish to come nearer at cast distance… .I couldn’t believe they were mullets (Caribbean fish similar to grey mullets). I started walking again, but I couldn’t see anything, then I decided to make “blind casts” in proximity of bushes and I hooked small snappers and small

H2omagazine winter 2013  
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