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Date: 09 Jul 2012 03:26:26
Title: Ricky Marlin

Lat 16:42.47S
Lon 145:21.00W

No, that's not a typo in the subject line, and no, I haven't developed a desire to blog about a spanish, hip twisting singer.

We caught a Marlin! The pride and joy of all sports fisherman, and the ultimate catch for the Mystic boys has meant much excitement on the boat in the last 24 hours. Where' s a bottle of French Champagne when you need one?!

We had just left Fakarava, on our way to Faaite for a couple of days, when that familiar sound of the fishing line whizzing out was heard again. We thought it must have been a shark, we knew it was big and given our recent experiences in the Fakarava pass we thought it must surely be a shark. Jamie, who can take full credit for this catch, started reeling in the line. It was running like nothing he'd ever had before. Suddenly about 150 yards to our left, a huge fish jumped fully out of the water. "Marlin!!" we all shouted. We couldn't believe it. Just a few days until Jamie goes home and he caught a bloody marlin. It was amazing. It took 40 minutes for him to reel it in. We knew we had to tire it out as there was no way we could have a fish like that alive and wriggling around on the sugar scoop of our Beneteau! Mystic wasn't exactly built for that! How the hell would we get it on board though? After reeling it in close to the boat, we let it swim alongside until it wasn't thrashing around any more, then Archie and Dad managed to get a loop around it's tale, set that rope up to a winch, and then drag it behind the boat. It must have weighed about 60kg. We were keen to get it out the water as soon as possible as there are so many sharks we thought there was a high chance of losing it. But they didn't come and soon we had the 7ft Marlin hanging from the davits. We knew those davits would come in handy for something! Dad came up with a great name - "Ricky Marlin". Teehee.

It's a marlin!

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Eyes on the prize Jamie!

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We arrived in Faaite, expecting to be welcomed like war heroes. But it didn't quite happen like that. We navigated through the narrow pass - the trickiest we've done in the Tuamotu's (with depths as shallow as 3.5m - eek!) and anchored (by hand) in the lagoon. After gutting the marlin, which had surprisingly little nastiness inside it and a massive heart, we took all the obligatory cheesy photos, and then loaded it onto the front of the dinghy and motored to the village. We didn't get a hero's welcome but we did find some very friendly locals who appeared with a big knife and a small crowd gathered while the fish was cut up - 3 days of food for us and the rest was for the villagers. We were hoping to trade it for some fresh fruit and veg or some pearls, but they didn't have any of these on this island! Apparently they do have quite a lot of marlin around but assured us that Ricky was a very large one that we could have sold for Top Dollar if we were in the trade.

Dad is 6ft. Ricky was 7ft.

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Cheesy photo awesomeness!

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The locals very happy that dinner for the next month is sorted.

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Faaite is a lovely village, fairly similar to other villages we've seen in the Tuamotu's - very well kept, beautiful gardens, very friendly people. We had a campfire and cooked up some of the marlin - known to be more fun to catch than to eat, which tasted fine, but nothing special. it's just a steaky fish, with a taste not as strong as Tuna.

We had a campfire on the left of this little atoll in Faaite

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We were going to have two nights here and then head to Moorea for a couple of days before dropping the crew off in Tahiti, but given the windlass problem, we are leaving for Tahiti today. We want to try and assess the damage and the possibility of getting it fixed or new parts sent out as soon as possible. Hopefully we will be there just for 24hrs and then head off to Moorea. Unfortunately it will be Sunday when we arrive so not sure what will be open. It's only 9 miles between the two islands so easy to sail between the two.


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