Marquesas – Day 4

Ross

21 March 2010 | Pacific Ocean

We’re currently in an area called the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) also known as the duldrums. It’s an area of the ocean along the equator where there is typically little to no wind. Prior to motors, ships that sailed into the ITCZ could sit for weeks waiting for wind. Often times they’d deploy their life rafts and try to tow their ships out of the area. With the luxury of motors, it’s not a terrible area, but you never want to run a motor that hard. Just before sunset on Saturday, we decided to turn off the motor and take a swim to get out of the heat. The ocean was nearly glass and we swam around for about 45 minutes, just checking out the boat and getting some exercise. We actually got some great photos of some really wild looking jellyfish. Panu made up some awesome pasta and since our bananas are starting to go bad, we also had some banana bread with dinner not bad for 3 dudes in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. From the clouds, you could tell that the calm weather wasn’t going to last forever. Around ten, we started seeing lightning and the waves started building. The wind was right on our nose and so we were rocking pretty good and not really making much progress towards the Galapagos. Around 9 in the morning, the weather was still lightning and getting worse. Panu spotted a ship only the second ship spotted and the wind started to build. We decided to raise some sails and alter our course to steady the ship and save some fuel. It started absolutely pouring and the waves got quite a bit bigger. We only kept the sails up for a short while as the wind died down. After the storm, we pulled in the two lines we had out and found half an octopus on the plug that we had out. Something else must have taken the head off, but the beak and all the legs were still attached. We cut off a leg and rigged it up with a bright pink imitation squid. Not even 15 minutes later, we had a hit and I grabbed the pole. A huge mahi mahi (also known as a dolphin and a dorado) jumped out of the water around 150 feet behind the boat. Even from the distance we were at you could still see the flat head and blue, green, and yellow coloring. I cranked the drag up as quickly as possible, but before I could fully tighten it all of the line had been pulled out and it snapped the line. It continued to jump out of the water a few times after the line had already broke. It looked to be around a 40lb fish, so I’m not even sure if we have the equipment to boat it, but obviously fun to finally get some big fish on. We only covered 89 nm today, but after looking at the charts realized that the island that we are going to in the Galapagos is 20 nm closer than the island that we were shooting for. The weather is forecasted to stay the same, so no big storms, but also no great wind to get us there faster. We’re still crossing our fingers for a Thursday arrival.

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