Astra Log Day 12 - Shark Attack....!
We catch two-thirds of a tuna
In the late afternoon I went to check our fishing lines. They had both been out all day with not a flicker of interest. I was just pulling in the smaller lure, branded as the “Tuna Teaser”, when suddenly the other reel started making a noise like Lewis Hamilton coming out of the pits in second. By the time I got to it, about a third of a kilometre of line was in the water, and the long job of patiently reeling in began. This fish was clearly very large and very determined. When it got to close range of the boat, unlike dorados which generally make a final run for it, this one decided to emergency dive. Shortly afterwards the job got easier, and then we discovered why.
What we had caught was a medium sized tuna, but unfortunately it had had an encounter with a shark in those final minutes. What came out on the hook was the tuna, minus its tail and minus a generous chunk of steaks out of its midriff. On the scales it weighed 20lb, but this was probably only around two-thirds of the complete animal. See pictures. We think that by type it is an atlantic bonito.
Sashimi was immediately served, followed later by fresh tuna steaks for dinner, thus fulfilling Nicky’s wish. And in spite of the impolite shark getting in ahead of us, there is still enough in the freezer for at least two further tuna menus.
English weather exported to mid-Atlantic
A night of weather mayhem, with squall upon squall overtaking the boat, forcing us to reduce sail to the main only, and keeping us up long past our bedtimes. An ARC “weather advisory” notice at 1600 yesterday, warning of storms and strong winds, proved to be wide of the mark when it said that storms “should clear once yachts are west of 43ºW. We were actually about 200 miles beyond that, at 46ºW, when we hit the bad stuff. No matter – this morning crew and boat are in good shape, if a little tired. At first light it is still pelting it down, full oilies deployed (see picture) By now we are gliding along in warm sunshine as if nothing had happened.