Galapagos – Day 6 – Halfway to halfway

Ross

15 April 2010 | Pacific Ocean

I sat up this morning and rubbed my eyes to get ready to climb out into the cockpit. I reached for the water jug right next to my feet and was a bit surprised when I saw a big flying fish lying next to it. Most mornings, we find one or two of the unlucky baitfish on the deck, but this one must have flown right through the little window and crashed into the mast inside. It was the biggest one we’d found dead, and considering the luck we had been having fishing, I was considering frying it up rather than rigging it on a hook and handing it over to the fish. However, our trusty Garmin GPS claimed that today was supposed to be an excellent fishing day. It’s got this hunting/fishing calendar that tells you which days are poor for fishing and which are supposed to be great for your location even giving you two time periods each day when it should be the best. I’ve no idea how they come up with these ratings (probably phases of the moon), but only a day or two a month get the excellent rating and this was one of them. We have never paid much attention to this crystal ball predictor, but I attached the flying fish to the squid and hoped for the best. Later that day, we hadn’t had any bites, so we decided to put out another line. We tied a knot called the bimini twist that created a double line which kind of creates a shock absorbing leader on the monofilament (not an easy knot to tie). Since our large tackle hadn’t been catching anything, we put on a smaller bright orange squid and also hooked on a little dead squid that we’d found on the deck. Around 3, our luck finally changed and I noticed some splashing at the end of our large setup. We’d caught a little dorado (mahi mahi). Although it was small, there was surely enough to eat, so we filleted it up for dinner. From what people had said about the fishing out here, we thought we’d be sick of fish by now, but this was the first one we’d boated since the Galapagos and I was craving some fresh fish. Shortly thereafter, we hooked something on the rod that was putting up a pretty good fight. We got it near the boat and it was another dorado, just larger than the previous one. Alex took a few swings at it with the gaff hook but missed and as Diego was trying to lift it into the boat, it shook and jumped off the hook. We decided to make sure we gaff the next one. On a sailboat, we’re sitting pretty high out of the water and bouncing up and down, so landing a fish is no easy task. Just after letting the line out and recovering from losing what would have double the size of our dinner, the line took off out of the rod again. This was something bigger and it kept diving. Eventually, we horsed it in near the boat and noticed it was a pretty nice sized tuna. My mouth was seriously watering since I have yet to have fresh tuna on the ocean and cruisers claim that it is a treat most just cut it up, maybe throw on some soy sauce, and eat. Alex was filming and as we got it near the boat, it gave one last struggle and the lure shot out of its mouth. Big time bummer, but not sure what we could have done differently at least we had a video of the fish and the fight. With around an hour before sundown and since we were in the suggested fishing time period on an excellent day, we put the line back out. There was a quick jerk on the line and Diego grabbed the rod, but it stopped immediately. He pulled the line in and something had taken the lure. I think that during the fight with the tuna, one of the snap swivels may have come undone and when we got the next bite it simply unlatched. We’d mostly joked around about the Garmin calendar, but it looks like it may have been right this time. We had a little trouble with the oven, but we were able to pump out 3 more loaves of banana bread and a loaf of white bread. We covered 147 miles today and the wind is predicted to pick up a bit in the next few days (nothing really strong, but strong enough to speed us up). We crossed the halfway to halfway point, so in a few days, we’ll start getting closer to land rather than farther away.

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