Atlantic Crossing Days 7-9: Catch & Relase

Wednesday June 18, 2012

We’re not alone out here! No, we didn’t find a buddy boat out on the water to enjoy sundowners with as we both sit and drift (although how cool would that be), but we’ve been joined by a family of fish that have taken to following us and using us as some sort of floating reef.  We’re not really sure what kind if fish they are, although we did see them on Monday, little babies or adolescents with what looked like two mahis occasionally swimming by as too.  Well, they’re still here with us.  

With no wind again today we decided to try our hand one more time at fishing.  According to our Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing, drifting is almost as good as doing 5-6 knots when you’re trying to catch a mahi, so at least we’ve got that going for us.  Pulling out all of our tackle we had a bunch of new lures to try out, thank to one of our readers, Ben, so we’d spend about 20 minutes with each one at the end of our hand real.  All of the tiny fish that I’m now basically adopting and considering part of our family, would scurry to check out the lure each time it was plopped down in the water, but luckily had the good sense not to bite at it.  It could be because the lures were about 2/3rds the size of their bodies, but that’s not here or there.

All afternoon we’d toss the lure out and reel it back in, as the peels to our oranges floated within eyesight of us since we’ve been cursed with no wind again today and have gone back to locking the wheel and drifting.  There had been a few times that a larger mahi would swim by the boat but seemed to have no interest in the multiple lures we were tossing out, covering every color of the rainbow as we tried to attract him in, all to no avail.  Then as evening fell and I was getting ready to prepare dinner, the mahi was back and we decided to take one last shot, wrapping sliced ham on the end of the lure to see if it was any more appealing to him.

The ham did help us to catch a trigger fish that was also hanging around the boat, but the mahi was impervious to it.  And then…I threw some tomato scraps from my dinner prep out into the water and a second mahi came shooting out of nowhere to eat it up.  I threw tomato slice after tomato slice into the water, and once that was what the mahi was expecting to hit the water in front of it, we threw the lure and it clamped right on.  What the what?  It’s actually on the lure?  We were not actually expecting this and were fully unprepared.  As Matt pulled the huge fish in, who was surprisingly not putting up any kind of fight, I scrambled around the cockpit trying to find our gaff hook.  After Matt had been holding the fish on the side of the boat for a minute I ran back up to him with the gaff, and just as he was about to pass me the line to hold while he gaffed this golden meal in front of us, it was gone.  Giving itself a few shakes it managed to release itself from from our line.  Huh….there goes our dinner.  I guess we’ll have to be quicker with the gaff hook next time.

fish swimming by stern

caught & lost mahi

 (sorry for the bad quality of photos, these were transferred from video)


Thursday June 19, 2012

worked on headsail, patch made me sick. Watched Law Abid Citz & Dex. Made chx tacos, winds 15-20 after 7 pm.

As much as I keep trying to put this task off, and without any good reason, since really, what am I doing anyway?, today was the day to hunker down and get as much work done as possible on the headsail so we can finally get it flying again.  After about an hour of work though, just as I was about to stick it away for the rest of the day, just like I’ve been doing every day so far, I realized the reason I can’t work on it is that it’s hurting my eyes.  I think it has to do with the scopolamine patch I’ve been wearing for seasickness.  Usually I only have one on for 1-3 days and get to tear it off before any kind of side effects begin to mess with me, but I had a plan of keeping one on 24/7 for this trip so that no matter what kind of weather arose, I would be covered.

Nope, not going to work out anymore.  These things are seriously messing with my head, so I decided to rip it off, possible seasickness be damned.  Since the relief isn’t immediate though I was able to talk Matt into letting us use up our full battery banks to plug in the tv and watch a movie while we just kind of drift around out here.  And I figured since we were lounging around watching a movie, what better time to break into my 64 oz bag of Skittles than now?  I’m actually surprised I’ve lasted this long without tearing into them yet.

Tonight we’ve finally run out of already prepped meals, so I decided to try my hand at cooking again since conditions are so calm.  Not knowing how much longer we’ll have flat seas though, I went through and made one of my favorite meals, tacos.  I have no idea what it about me when I set out to make a meal, but I swear, each time I do it takes about 60-90 minutes.  You’d think I was making my own tortillas or something.  I guess I’m just really slow at chopping vegetables.  When I finally had dinner on the table it was only 30 minutes before my bedtime.  Guess who went to bed an extra 30 minutes late because they wanted to make sure they had a clean sink?  This girl.  Normally I’d let them sit until morning but winds have actually picked up into the 15-20 knot range, and for once I’m hoping that because we’re going so fast I won’t be able to get them down tomorrow.  I think we could use a little speed in our lives right now.



Friday June 20, 2014

It’s taken me a week worth of work, with nothing but time on my hands, but I’ve finally gotten the headsail finished. I’m still amazed at my personal level of laziness and keep thinking to myself that faced with the same project back at anchor, I would have completed it in two days max. With taking plenty of breaks in between. I really do blame the scopolamine patch for messing with my head and my vision. Things were getting to the point that even though I haven’t touched my contact lenses and have been wearing my glasses since the day we left, I was starting to do ALL my tasks with my glasses resting on top of my hair, a makeshift headband, since putting them on made my eyes almost cross, as if my horrible prescription was non-existent and I was trying to view the world through Mr. Magoo’s goggles.

Through an hour here and an hour there though, we are back with our genoa, and holy crap, I tell tell an immediate change. Our speed went from it’s usual 2.5 knots up to 3.5. There is hope after all. Now if only one of us had the guts to jump in for an mid-ocean bottom cleaning, we could probably gain that other half knot of speed and begin traveling at our conservative estimate of 4 knots. At least our ride is still as comfortable as ever. Even with the extra knot we still feel like we’re in a fairly protected anchorage. Which means I might still be able to cook a few decent meals on this trip before resorting to cans of Progresso, or worse, Chef Boyardee.

sewing genoa

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