Whopping Wahoos

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Tue 6 Oct 2009 06:19
24:44.38 S
179:28.92 W

Wow, what an eventful day we had since we left North Minerva reef this
morning! First going through the pass itself: we got pushed out with at
least 1.5 kts of current with us, which gave us a sensation like being in a
hot tub with the jets on. Another boat had just come in (slowly, pushing the
tide) and he was going to wait out a next weather window, but we are now on
the go with another small bunch of yachts.

It was nice out there, a broad reach on a sunny day. Perfect. We got both
fishing lines out as soon as we came out of the pass and within 5 miles, not
quite past the reef, we had a double whammy: 2 wahoos, each over 3 ft! Quite
exciting because it was literally years ago since we last caught any wahoo
and it's Geoff's favourite fish. So Miss Molly turned into a processing
plant to despatch, fillet, cut and bag the wahoos in portioned "bricks" which
then went into the freezer. Just in time before lunch, we needed some
fortifying food after all that processing!

Then we sailed over to South Minerva Reef, 22 miles further. We had often
passed it, but never really explored it and today felt like it was the day
to do it. Beautiful turquoise water, surrounded by non stop white breakers,
very stunning. We still had the fishing lines out and guess what.... another
double whammy!! First we pulled in a 3 foot dorado which was cheered on
board since the stock we had was nearly down to zero. Shame Merel did not
realise she could have videoed the belly dance that the mahi did on the aft
deck, with both Geoff and James rushing around trying to grab that slippery

The biggest fish was left to be pulled in last because we needed to come up
with a plan for landing it. It was a 5 foot wahoo, the biggest fish we have
ever caught! It was decided to put a rope around its tail and drown it
hanging off the transom, so it would not slash around on deck with all sorts
of hazards for crew and boat. When he seemed to have calmed down he got
pulled in by the rope. It was bigger than the lazarette hatch and ever so
slippery and we had quite some fun trying to lift it for the appropriate
brag photo's to be taken. The processing result of this one turned out to be
more than double the amount of portions that we got out of the first 2
wahoos together.

Must say we've got a whole load of fish in that freezer now, but we have
already started on working down that pile with dinner. Red Thai wahoo curry!
And if we really had to we could fit in another dorado. Or two. In the
freezer that is, not our tummies, they are still stuffed from that curry.

Unfortunately at dusk the wind left us more or less, so we are back to
motoring. We need this small weather system we're in now to pass before we
get the Northerlies again to sail down on. At the moment we have about 700
Nm to go to NZ. But the spirits are high on Miss Molly and you bet that all
we dream of is fishing and fish processing when we are off watch!

Till tomorrow, when we should have passed the dateline (at 180 degrees
West/East; 30 odd miles to go) and are back in the Eastern Hemisphere!

Geoff, Merel & James