Atlantic Crossing – Day 16 – Fish On!!

Blogger: John
Date: 26-Feb-2020
Location: 2000+nm from La Palma
Total to Date: 2042nm (856nm to go!)
24 Hour Run: 123nm

It’s hot. It’s tropical. At last things have changed. The first two weeks were pretty chilly with strong winds and big waves. No time to do much but eat, sleep, keep watch and put right whatever small thing had just gone wrong. Now though the whole vibe has changed. We’re well over halfway so thoughts do turn to the end, the sun is shining, the sea and wind have calmed down. So much in fact that after two hours of playing with running downwind wing on wing or as Jenny calls it ‘goosey goosey’ we gave up the unequal fight and motored south for five hours. Two hours to rig the yankee pole and two minutes to realise this was not going to work. Another 15 minutes to dismantle it all again! The ‘wind’ has now come back and we are sailing at a sedate 3.5knots in roughly the right direction.

Last night as I reeled in the bright Australian octopus lure I saw that the end of the lure hook had been totally bitten off together with a couple of the the octopus’ legs. that would have been the very brief “wwhhiirr” we heard from the rod earlier in the afternoon. That must have been a BIG fish, the hook was stainless wire 2mm thick and he just bit the end off it!

Anyway it was a tricksy sort of night. Just about enough breeze to keep us moving through the water but we all had to work hard to maintain forward progress. M’s watch in particular was challenging with the wind all over the place up to 23 knots as a sneaky squall swept through. It made for easier sleeping conditions though so much so that I totally slept through the alarm right by my head and missed the start of my watch. Gilly had to come and shake me out of my deep, deep sleep.

Up bright and early Mariel encouraged me to let the lure out again. We decided yesterday’s lure had attracted one fish so why not another? Again we let it out much further behind the boat than previously. And waited.

Meanwhile reefs were in and reefs were out, foresails too. there was no perfect sail plan.

Engine on at 11.15 our time. 11.30 and the reel screams. “Fish on!” I shout and the smooth landing plan goes into action. Killing board, knife, landing net and many cameras appear. It’s a lovely female mahi-mahi, around 5 pounds perfect for tonight’s tea. All went smoothly and with the knife through her head I set to creating two fillets and Gill then scraped the last few bits for future use. M tossed the head and body back into the ocean as we all thanked fish and Neptune for their generosity but not before I cut off the trophy tail to hang from the back stay.

Unanimous fish meal request for tonight is mahi-mahi sushi followed by fried fillet of fish with cheeky fried potatoes also know as fish and chips!

And then the dolphins came to play around the bow in the deep, deep blue sea. About thirty of them. Small and very agile they gave us the usual happy smile making display for 15 minutes before disappearing as quickly as the had arrived. Coincidence surely that they should make their appearance as IJ appeared on deck sporting only his brief Speedos and harness!

Other events today. Aft deck seawater washes, a bit of downward dogging on the side deck and discussion over whether we should bite the bullet and deploy the massive, slightly scary parasailor tomorrow. I think we will.

Now we just need a sunset whale appearance and another five knots to round off a perfect day.

G, IJ, J and M

Use https://www.noforeignland.com/boat/4717902794063872 with SHOW JOURNEY to track our progress.

One thought on “Atlantic Crossing – Day 16 – Fish On!!

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