Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Monday 25th June

At Sea

3 31.955 S
100 54.630 W (at Midnight)

We both began the day rather grumpy, that’s what you get for having to little sleep but we both improved as the day went on. As dawn broke we had 95% cloud cover and it was pretty cold, we both wore track suits for a good deal of the morning, eventually though the sun broke through and as long as you sat directly in it then you were quite warm; it was different if you happened to sit in the shaded part of the cockpit – it was like an ice box! Gerry did the 07.00hrs radio schedule and then went back to bed to try and get some more sleep, getting back up again at 09.00hrs. After breakfast the first job was to do fish patrol around the deck; Gerry had “saved “the life of one squid during the night, he had heard it land on the deck and could reach it from the cockpit so he threw it back in the water. The patrol netted us 9 squid and 3 flying fish today; you have to wonder why they can’t avoid the only boat around for miles. Our first bit of excitement for the day was around 10.00hrs when the fish alarm went off; we had hooked a Mahi Mahi. I reeled it in, gaffed it and pithed it whilst Gerry donned his harness and climbed over the back onto the transom to clean it and carry out the fillet and release program. When he saw the fish approaching the boat he told me that he thought we should just release it as it was small; I argued that it was a reasonable size for 2 people and brought it on board; it was in fact a good size for the 2 of us and we got 2 very good size fillets from it. Gerry balanced on the transom and I went to hand him the fish but the boat was heeling over and rolling too much so we decided that it was too dangerous for him to clean it on the transom and he climbed back in the boat. I took the fish down below and cleaned and filleted it then brought the remains back up on deck for the release program; now Gerry agreed that it was the ideal size for a one meal deal. I have to say we were quite shocked to catch the fish as we are down to our last lure and it is quite lightweight compare to the ones that we have lost in the last few days, just shows you never can tell. Just as I was finishing filleting the fish Gerry decided that the wind had dropped enough to shake the reef out of the main sail. The drop in wind speed didn’t last long, it was soon back up to 14 knots and we raced along doing 7 knots for most of the day. The swell dropped a bit today thank goodness, we were getting 6 foot swell at 9 second intervals, a bit more comfortable than it has been for the last day. Our next bit of excitement was spotting a whale plume off of our port beam, it was quite a distance away but it was good to see some other sign of life. I tried to get an hour sleep early in the afternoon but was woken up with the shout of another fish on the line, by the time I reached the cockpit though it had made good it’s escape, Gerry saw it leap and said it was a very large Mahi Mahi; I’m glad it escaped as I wouldn’t have wanted to try filleting that down below. After running the water maker Gerry went for a sleep, getting up in time for me to do the 17.00hrs radio schedule. Everyone had made some progress but we seemed to have gone the fastest all day, Y Not who is nearest to us is a good 102 miles away from us having taken a slightly different course. We enjoyed the fish for dinner – there really is nothing quite as good as fresh caught fish when you are at sea. I went off for the first sleep whilst Gerry kept watch; it wasn’t a good night as we were both kept awake by the rolling and sails flapping; the wind had done a dirty and come almost behind us forcing us to go further south and off course than we wanted. We tried to sail it right on the edge but this proved to be too difficult and in the end we furled the jib away which helped a little but of course that dropped our speed. It was a very long night.



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