THE START OF THE ADVENTURE
11 Years ago when on holiday in Madeira I chanced upon the marina in Calheta.A modern marina with bars & restaurants and plenty of tourists. Sitting down at one of the local bars and enjoying a cup of espresso I got to talking with a guy who looked like a modern day pirate. Little did I know at that point that the conversation would be the start of an adventure.The man in question was none other than the world famous captain called Gerard " Frothy" da Silva who operated a big game charter boat from Madeira called the Pesca Grossa. Since I have always loved fishing from an early age, we made a deal and I chartered his boat for half a days fishing for the elusive Blue Marlin. The afternoon was a blank and the next trip as well. By this time I was addictively hooked to Big Game fishing despite not having managed to catch one of these monsters. In the coming years I made numerous trips with Frothy and other charter operations over the globe. Grenada,Trinidad & Tobago,Indonesia ,Greece. After 3 years of trying, on a trip in Madeira, we hooked up to a huge marlin and I was in the chair battling with this fish with, Frothy and the crew giving me advice. After about an hour we landed the fish. Unfortunately the fish had died in the fight. With mixed feelings that such a wonderful creature had died we headed back to the marina with the fish. When weighed the fish was 690 alb's. The fish of a lifetime for me ! Since that day I have caught numerous Blue Marlin in Madeira with the largest estimated at 950lb's. Luckily also that first fish was the only fish which we were unable to release alive. Being a Big Game fisherman does not make us like trophy hunters. All of the fisherman I know are true conservationists of the ocean and have a deep respect for the creatures living in it. We clear up trash we find in the ocean, free turtles and seabirds of netting which they are tangled in and we make sure that we leave nothing behind in the ocean that does not belong there.
In 2019 I decided to make a part-time move to Madeira to see if the island would be a good home permanently maybe. In 2021 I will be planning to make the move permanent, the island is a beautiful place ! Stunning scenery ,a mild and warm climate, great food, friendly population and almost no crime. Madeira is a true hidden jewel within easy flying distance of mainland Europe.
In 2020 I met another famous captain, a guy called Zak Conde who runs fishing charters in Cape Verde.We got to talking and he told me that he was wanting to sell his boat in Madeira. I decided to go take a look at the boat with him and we drove over to Funchal where the boat was moored. The Boca Raton was built in 2005 and is a 31 ft Blackwatch Flybridge Convertible. I fell in love with the boat and I decided that I would buy it from him. At the end of 2020 we transacted the deal and the boat became officially mine. Shortly after that we hauled the boat out of the water to start a series of improvements and refurbishment to bring the boat back to its true glory. The work was completed in March of 2021 and the boat is now ready for my first season as captain of my own operation.The boat has a history of many marlin being caught and I will be inheriting a legacy which I hope to continue. 11 years after finding this type of fishing I now hope to introduce others to this fantastic sport and to pass on my values of ocean conservation to the future generations.