Saturday, March 31, 2012

Life and Death - Day 11

Rani is outside now with the videocam trying to capture flights of flying fish. They erupt suddenly from both sides of the boat, perhaps frightened by our huge wallowing bulk. Like a flurry of silver darts they skim the waves, twisting around each swell, sometimes landing more than a hundred feet from their launch spot.

On deck this morning were 5 flying fish and one squid, ranging in size from an inch long to more than 9 inches. Before Rani was out of bed, I had cleaned and fried the 3 larger fish - firm white flesh - delicious and very fresh (sorry Rani!) The flying fish here at 10 degrees are more plentiful and larger than the ones I saw on the Hawaii trip.

We had dolphins around the boat last night, identifiable in the rough seas by their little gasps for air. I could just make out their light trails amidst the tumbling seas.

On this morning's radio net, Don on Buena Vista, currently about 150 miles north of us, reported catching 2 boobies on his fishing line. Sadly, the birds dive for the trailing lure and once hooked are soon drowned as they drag behind the boat. It took Don over an hour to retrieve the poor creatures. One of the other cruisers asked if Don had tried eating Booby. This was too good a set-up line to ignore, but I will not print Don's reply.

Karen and Mike on Chapter 2 caught a 10 pound Wahoo - large mackerel that can grow up to 7 feet long and 100 pounds. When Don asked them what type of lure they used, I broke in and told them that we had 'caught' 3 edible fish with our 34 foot red and white striped 'lure'.

Last night could have been our last one. At 8pm local time we spotted a flashing white light, which moved rapidly closer. I tried to track it on the radar, but it was lost amongst the wave scatter. It turned out to be a buoy of some sort - maybe a meteorological one - and if we had not quickly altered course, we would possibly have struck it, damaging or even sinking our boat - yikes. What the heck is a buoy doing out here 1000 miles from land? For anyone interested, the buoy was located at N 11 05.166 and W 123 01.862.

We have less than 400 miles to run to the point where we will turn south. We just brought Ladybug onto port tack so that we do not end up too far to the west. If this was to happen, we would have a hard time getting to the Marquesas against the prevailing SE trade winds.

Our position at 14:30 Zulu was N 10 30 W 123 59. We ran 141 nautical miles in the previous 24 hours with 130 of those made good toward our ITCZ turning point.

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