Saturday, June 30, 2007

Friday 29th June

At Sea

5 02.067 S
109 01.670 W (at Midnight)

By the time the sun was rising it was time to do the radio schedule, I tossed the fishing lure out whilst Gerry talked to the guys. We were the only boat that had a good night; all the rest had quite a slow one. As the morning progressed we both had a sleep and suddenly the wind and swell picked right up, we were sailing along heeled well over and doing speeds of up to 9.9 knots – surfing down waves! The day was uneventful until just after lunchtime, Gerry had gone for a nap and George and I were trying to control the boat when I noticed a very large black cloud coming up behind us, the jib began to bag around which immediately brought Gerry out to the cockpit. We closed up the hatches and curtains, and reefed in the jib which still had the pole in place. The winds heralding the arrival of the rain were fierce – we saw 20 knots apparent wind and we were doing 8 – 9 knots at the time; it was a sleigh ride and a half! You can guess what happened next – the fish alarm went off! Before I could get from one side of the cockpit to the other to reel the line in the fish had managed to free itself from the hook and got away. I reset the line alarm, Gerry was struggling to keep the boat on course and I sat back down only to have the alarm go off again within 10 minutes. This time the fish was still on the line and I reeled it in, Gerry couldn’t do anything to help as he was still steering the boat at 8+ knots and trying to keep us from doing any damage. I got the fish alongside and lent over the safety line to gaff it when it gave a sudden lung and slipped off the hook – I was gutted! It was a good size Mahi Mahi and I thought we were going to have fish for dinner – back to plan B! I did throw the line back in but had no more bites for the rest of the day. During the radio schedule at 17.00hrs everyone agreed to turn back the clocks as we are now all in the same time zone again; so the fight is on as to who gets the extra hour sleep tonight! Gerry finished with the radio schedule and I made some water and prepared the dinner. I came out on deck for some fresh air prior to beginning to cook and just as I did Gerry said “what’s that?” We both saw a huge eruption in the water about 100 feet behind us (roughly where our fluro lure was) a whale then swam gracefully into view. I grabbed the camera and we watched it swim along breaking the surface twice; Gerry then began looking ahead to make sure there were no others in front of us that we might hit and as he looked away the one behind us kicked up its tail then vanished below the water, I managed to catch the tail on camera and Gerry was peeved that he had missed seeing it. We were awed to see another whale so close to us and began to speculate what we would have done if it had taken a fancy to the fluro green lure – we just weren’t quite sure who was going to hold the gaff and haul it onboard! The excitement for the day was now over, we reeled in the fishing line – hope we have better luck next time we put it in the water, though I have to say attracting a whale is something else! We ate dinner and began the night watches as the wind began to die and veer behind us. It was a slow and lumpy night after such a fast paced day, we both had trouble keeping the boat on course as we had to follow the wind to maintain any movement and to prevent the boom from banging.



Blogger David Fox said...

I am enjoying reading of your exploits. Good luck to you both.
David Fox, Ex Bluey

10:14 a.m.  

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