World ARC - Day 67 - 15th March - The great escape

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Fri 18 Mar 2016 06:25
09:19S 117:38W

World ARC - Day 67 - 15th March - The great escape

Today Karen is determined to fish so Portela is prepared at first light and trailled the regulation two to three waves behind Nina. We don't vary the boat speed to suit the fishing so at times we troll at 6-7 knots and other times we are over 9 knots. Back in St Lucia we were advised that the ideal tuna trolling speed is 6-7 knots, today we may be going a little fast. Early one we have one bite and the reel jumps to indicate the improvised bungy stretcher has snapped out. With an excited air we start to haul in the line straining to catch a glimpse of the enormous tuna which must be on the end. Sadly the line goes slack again so another one has got away. The difference between fishing and catching is underlined yet again!

Twice more during the day we have the same scenario and on both occasions the fish escape. This is despite Steve's cunning addition of a second hook half way through the day. By days end we decide that Portela has had enough chances so she is hauled in and Beija Flor is given her opportunity. Karen suggests that the three fish that had a quick bite are beating the jungle drums under the sea, warning their mates that the gorgeous little tasty morsel is in reality a mouth full of feathers and hidden barbs. So we are hoping to put the fish off the scent with the change of colour scheme. It works a treat. Within minutes there is the loudest bang from the reel and very vigorous tugging on the line. This is a wopper so all hands on deck to reel in and despatch the unfortunate fish. However the line goes slack part way in and when we examine the lure we find the hook has been bitten cleanly off along with half the feathers. With this early success we are determined to repair Beija Flor tomorrow and hope the fish jungle drums have not given us away.

Spirits are otherwise high on board as we are now able to count down the miles rather then count them up. We are working our way through the provisions on a priority basis so the most perishable are eaten first. We have reached the end of the fresh tomatoes today so in future we will have to make do with tinned. On the other hand there is no danger of starvation aboard with the quantities of staples like cupasoup and biscuits aboard for the long night time watches. Today is a treat with a hearty beef stew complete with the potatoes our Atlantic chef Frank would have considered essential for any stew to be complete. Our chefs Karen and Lynda admit afterwards that this was originally believed to be pork but when pulled from the freezer and prepared it was obviously not as billed. So being skilled and adaptable they changed the menu on the fly and whipped out the pressure cooker with great results.

As the half moon rises the contented crew relax and watch the sunset.