….from somewhere in the South Pacific…
Since this crossing is a doozy, and I can be pretty lazy, I figured just a couple highlights every once in a while, rather than daily updates would suffice. Seriously, who wants to read: Today I woke up tired at 10:45pm, slept through my dogwatch, got busted by a stern looking captain, and then couldn’t fall back asleep at 3am. Multiply that by six, and there is your first week at sea crossing the Pacific.
That said, we have had a pretty fine crossing so far. Similar to our fleetmates, with their 5 day/700 mile advance start , we found ourself dogged by doldrums for the first few days. The Yanmar donkeys got a hearty workout as we dove southward. Glassy seas, but since the motors were running, Ahab allowed the ice maker operational – so we had that going for us. Too bad we couldn’t serve it with anything interesting.
We burst through to trades after a few days, but kept moving south under the white sails to get below 9S before making the hard right turn. Night watches have been buoyed by sound tracks from JJ & The Chief. Many, many thanks to our fine DJs.
On the fishing front, WIDAGO would formally request to be re-classified in the fleet from Division 4A (Multihull) to newly created Division 5F (Sportfishing). While we have not landed a thing to eat, much to Cookie’s chagrin, the billfish abound. We released a 40/50# juvenile spearfish – something akin to sailfish, but with a more uniform shaped dorsal sail. The beast, however, came just before the big turn.
Gordon hooked his first blue marlin yesterday (Friday). Under full white sails, we were cruising nicely along at 7-8kts. The blue monster, to whom I shall now refer to as “Grover”, came upon our favorite pinky lure with piqued interest, nipping and batting at the fluffy feathers. The battle began: Gordon vs. Grover. That poor fish never stood a chance. Gordon teased Grover towards the boat, as Ahab overlooked with paternal pride. Once Grover was fully committed on the hook, the tug-o-war ensued, with entire crew pitching in to avoid fatigue. Ahab jockeyed WIDAGO, dropping her sails, so we wouldn’t jibe as Grover waged a hearty war against our anglers. It became slightly more chaotic after Ahab and I switched roles. A fishing captain, I am not. There were stern, loud words projected towards the helm. Certain people, I’m not naming names here, may have jumbled lefts/rights, ports/starboards. Twice the line tucked under the rudder, only to be rescued by Ahab. However, after jus
t under an hour of give and take, Ahab had Grover’s leader in hand. We donated our favorite fluffy pink lure to the sea, and sent a happy, healthy Grover back to the big blue. Although perhaps fishing memories are similar rear view mirrors, and may appear larger in one’s mind, this fish was a honker. Perhaps equal to a solid Division I Linebacker: 6-7 feet, 200-250 pounds. David captured the landing on video – so hopefully I can pull a photo from the feed. We were again reminded, that while Marlin fishing is exciting, we would have been just as happy with a docile Mahi Mahi.
Now that we have made the turn, Darth Vader has been up and down a few times. Squalls and some higher winds keep us on our toes, and switching out sails for now. Hopefully, as the winds ease in the next few days, Big Blue will make her first post rehab appearance. In the meantime, we continue to enjoy the peace and rhythm of being out on passage.