11th May

Global Yacht Racing's EH01
Global Yacht Racing - sponsors: Caspian Services
Mon 11 May 2009 12:58
29:32.325N 061:17.519W

We have finally arrived in the Great North Atlantic Boat Park normally
called the Azores High. Last night at about 4pm your time the wind switched
off as I expected it to. If we had been racing I would have gone further
west to avoid this but seeing as we can use our iron sail I decided to motor
sail for 12 hours to get us a bit further north and into the stronger south
westerlies. We're getting there, the wind is in the right direction now and
slowly building.

Whilst in Antigua I got talking to a sport boat captain, assuming he would
know a thing or two about deep sea fishing seeing as he was baiting up his
rods. 'Whats the best coloured lure to use?' I asked. 'Doesn't matter'
came the reply...'fish are colourblind, they only see contrast...get white
and blue, it will work ok'. So after all these years of ocean sailing I
learn something new...everday's a school day.

So, just before dinner last night, just as we have to make the difficult
decision between tinned curry and tinned curry as the evening meal I went up
the companion way and looked beyond the stern of the boat and saw a fish
leaping on the end of our line. Now here I need to explain that we have
quite an archiac fishing rig setup. No expensive reel for us but we do have
a rod. I have rigged our gear, generously bought by Tom, thus; rod tied to
pushpit rail, 2 x 100 metre lines tied together, in board end of line
wrapped around chopping board, clothes peg attached to guard wire with line
passing through it as an early warning detector, bungee/shock cord at end of
line. We've had a couple of false alarms, mainly Sargasso sea weed which
Tom has saved for his Mum?! But this was the real thing. I threw my iPod
down, leapt over Tom; not quite true...I kind of ran through him...sorry
Tom. And grabbed the line in my bare hands. Seb kindly offered gloves...not
his own, but I refused. I was the Old Man as described by Hemingway and damn
the critics.

Catching fish with our rig requires at least two people. Due to the lack of
a reel, Tom was furiously winding the line I was pulling in, around the
chopping board. I ordered the boat slowed as most of the fight had been
taken out of the fish by now and as Seb and I pulled our prize on board,a
Maui Maui or Dolphin Fish we had the customary photo opportunity. Scott,
you would have loved this.

Having caught a similar fish a few years back I knew that once dead the fish
would turn from a beautiful gold colour to green almost instantly. I would
like to say that when it came to dispatching the fish that it was quick and
painless for the fish. Now I'm not squeemish but I just couldn't get my aim
right on the wildly flapping blighter and just about hit it everywhere
except the head. Oh, I did get it in the eye though. Seb had a go too but
faired as well as I did. Tom, however has a side to him which is part
cerebral pugilist and part cerebral barbarian. He set about that fish and
when he was done there were plenty brains in the cockpit sole.

After more photos of the successful hunting alpha males with their bounty of
the sea, Alistair expertly butchered the fish into fine steaks (an amazing feat in itself as we only have a 3 inch serrated knife on board) and also
cooked them to perfection. My pennance for poor killerinstinct was to clean up the gorey scene in the
cockpit, with assistance of course. That fish was about one hour from sea
to plate and makes the Boat Park a little more tolerable.