Dick catches a fish!

Dick and Irene Craig
Tue 16 Mar 2010 17:58

Wednesday, the sea was moderate and the waves broke over the bows and
occasionally the port beam. The wind was favorable and we were traveling at
a good pace, so soon averaged out the slow start to the leg. We are still
well behind most of the fleet which appears to be increasing their lead over
Thursday morning the swells had reduced some, as had the wind, making the
boat much more comfortable.
The waves of the previous night had managed to assist in the suicide of 25
small flying-fish and seventeen baby squid. We initially thought to use them
as bait but as that wasn't successful Dick returned them to the sea and used
instead, a lure.
The boat was a bit of a mess following the death throws of the fish so Moe
kindly cleaned it up as well as flushing out the holding tanks with water.
We had a flood in Oisin's heads. The valve for the fresh water flushing of
the loo managed to get stuck, emptying the fresh water tank and overflowing
from the wet-room into Oisins cabin and the passage outside.
We made some more water and this also disappeared though the bilge pulps
didn't activate. We suspected Oisin's fresh water valve again and the reason
it hadn't flooded this time was because he had since cleaned the outlet
filter so the water could just run away.
The culprit was salt in the water maker's fresh water flush mechanism.
Instead of taking just seven minutes to flush after making water, it was
flushing constantly. We couldn't hear the noise of the pump because believe
it or not, sailing through the sea is quite a noisy business. Well done Dick
for fixing the fault.
Dick caught a sailfish, about one metre in length and weighing 3.5Kg. This
is the first fish that he recalls catching. Moe, not much of a meat eater,
prepared the fish, so I only had to deal with the fillets which weighed
As the fish was so fresh, I squeezed lime juice over half the fillets, added
some olive oil and cooked for 2 minutes in the microwave. It was simply
delicious. The other half was made into fish curry the following night.
Panic! The freezer isn't working! What with the terra-stations switched on
for a large part of the day and half the night, as well as the water maker
continuously fresh-water flushing, the batteries are getting hammered. The
terra-stations contain a copy of our DVD library at home.
Dick managed to sort out the problem by running two new heavy-duty cables
directly to the freezer. Phew!
Two pilot whales performed for us twenty metres from the boat and then
within the hour, a pod of 25-30 small dolphins showed us what they could do.
The following day, about 100 dolphins frolicked around the boat.
The evening sky is a typical example of a trade wind sky, with the cumulous
clouds all around us and as the sun sets, we are encircled by the most
beautiful pink, orange, blue, grey and white sunset.
It is rather like bobbing about in a huge soup tureen with a high domed lid
with lots of air and space above us. It is the lid which, from the rim of
the bowl, is painted in such beautiful patterns and amazing colors.
Oisin was thrilled to see, for the first time, dolphins approaching the boat
by night, their passage lit up by the phosphorescence.
Monday morning and Moe caught a sailfish which will barbecue for supper.
Not a brilliant idea to make a quiche, bouncing along in a sailing boat in
moderate seas. The filling doesn't all quite stay in the quiche dish as the
boat sways from side to side. Jolly tasty, with salad for lunch though.
I would like to know where the trade winds are. Yesterday afternoon when I
came on watch, we were sailing on a close reach of 40º rather than the
expected 150º.
In the early hours of the morning we finally exited the zone which Jimmy
Cornell suggests is not a pleasant place to be. This is a huge area
stretching from 3º south to 8º south and 95º west and 108ºwest. He is
absolutely right of course but the weather forecaster thought that we should
make passage right through he middle so although that meant we had wind for
the sails, the confused sea was extremely lumpy and uncomfortable, as
advised by the expert.

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