December 13th 2010: The one that got away

Enigma's Transatlantic Voyage
Manuel Ribeiro
Mon 13 Dec 2010 14:17

13:19.4N 53:24.40W


Though we have had some luck with fishing during the trip, Manu’s expertise could certainly have been used for yesterday’s string of events.


After having our largest bait ripped off – probably by a fish the size of a large child – Manuel Sr. re-rigged the line with a slightly less intimidating lure. We waited for some time with very little luck. In the early afternoon, there was a spark of excitement, as something had clearly gotten hold of our bait. Unfortunately, our lack of fish-catching left us in a state of surprise. We did not slow down the boat quickly enough, and we lost our catch soon after. Clearly, we were rusty; but we told ourselves that we wouldn’t make the same mistake.


And so we waited, tending to our own routines with no sign of fish. We were all but losing hope for the day. The sun was going down and dinner was beginning to creep up in our thoughts.


That is when there was an enormous tug on the line.


Everyone who was on deck – being Manel, Manuel Sr. and Boyan – immediately jumped up. It was like clockwork. Boyan quickly slowed the boat down while the Manuels rushed to the rod. Things were going smoothly. A huge splash emerged some 30 metres away from the boat. It was a big one. We were all excited and eager to see our future dinner. Boyan quickly passed the camera to Ze while he grabbed the net to scoop it in. Pretty soon, the fish came within our sights. And it became apparent that our measly net was no match for our adversary. It was easily 5 times larger than anything we had previously caught. Probably 80 cm long, it was a beautiful, meaty Dorado that would feed the entire crew.


Unfortunately, we were ill-prepared to bring this big guy in.


It was very frantic. Manel ran to get the large hook so he could get a second hold on it. Boyan was futilely trying to scoop up the thing by the tail – knowing full well that it could escape the net with a single flap. Manuel Sr. tried reeling it in as close to the boat as possible, while the others helplessly looked on. Then, just as the fish was touching the transom, it somehow banged its head against the boat and got loose. We were not happy.


It was a disappointing outcome. What added salt to the wound was, in all the excitement, no photographs or videos were taken. We can’t even prove that we had come so close. Alas, you win some and you lose some. We have now planned a bit more thoroughly what to do in case we catch another.


Hopefully, we’ll get luckier next time.


Only a couple more days,


The Enigma Crew.


PS: For today, 13th December, happy birthday to Teresinha (Manuel’s Sister) from the Enigma crew


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