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Date: 23 Dec 2013 21:04:00
Title: Our biggest fish so far...

12:09.6N 72:32.6W

When Tulu met her whirlwind we took in one of our two head sails. We should perhaps have taken in the new one with the code zero furler, not the older one with the conventional Reckmann furler, but we are more familiar with the Reckmann so took it in when we needed to shorten sail in a hurry. We are trying to plan our passage so we'll arrive at Santa Marta in daylight, and preferably in office hours, so we were in no hurry and spent the rest of the evening and night with just one headsail so we wouldn't go too fast. Unfortunately we flew along, going around 8 or 8 1/2 knots most of the night. You can't partly furl the Code Zero furler, it's either all in or all out, so without swapping over sails completely we were stuck charging through the night. It wasn't a problem: the swell is coming right behind us and we're staying out along the 200m depth contour so it have a lovely long wavelength... just sweeps up under you, carries you forward a while, then drops you gently as it travels on. It's much more like the Atlantic than the seas we've been getting in the Caribbean. But we had made more ground than we wanted by morning.

So this morning we swapped the sails over and rolled in most of the jib to slow ourselves down. We spent a gentle morning running slowly along with a scrap of foresail, enjoying the bright sunshine. This afternoon we were just about to take down the Code Zero and get the pole down, as we were sure we'll not need them before we arrive tomorrow, when the fishing line began ratcheting out again. Not screaming like yesterday, but pretty urgently all the same. It was a great big bright yellow Mahi Mahi. It took us about 40 minutes to get it in, Phil gradually reeling in as it dragged down the wave behind us, then holding whilst it started fighting again as soon as it got back underwater. My job was gaffing it and lifting it out of the water when it got close. I was so scared it would jump off the gaff, but I held it until Phil could drop the rod and get around to take it from me and flip it aboard.

It was the width of the cockpit, I guess about 4 feet long and wonderfully beautiful. It weighed over 20lbs so we have fresh fish for supper and plenty to barbecue for us, Tulu and Field Trip tomorrow evening when we are in Santa Marta.

Finally: a big one that didn't get away!

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