Tail of Two Fishes 36:18:22N 003:41:65W

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Fri 28 Sep 2007 17:24

Just a short note to update on progress. Full report on Palma will follow over the weekend.


After leaving Palma we decided to divert to Cartagena and to meet up with my brother for the evening. As before, we enjoy the place, but to date, despite three attempts, we have failed to find a good restaurant.  Still we had a convivial evening with brother and a lazy start to the next day. WE then departed for Almeria at around 1400 hours. The forecast was once again for little or no wind, but mercifully not for strong winds on the nose. Much to my delight, there was a good breeze and to cut a long story short we sailed on a beam reach for 25 hours and in that time covered around 165nm.


I had as usual deployed the fishing line, and also as usual did not expect to catch anything. So much so that I had forgotten is was out there. At around 1800 hours last evening, we were trolling along at around 8 knots, and I was contemplating waking the crew up to reef the main. Then  there was this very loud whizzing come screeching noise from the reel on the fishing rod. Given that we were doing 8 knots I thought there was no way it could be a fish, and that we had probably caught a fishing net or the likes. Crew shot up on deck with the various paraphernalia to get the line reeled in, and reefed both foresails, whilst I concentrated on trying not to loose my tackle over the side (if you will pardon the _expression_).


After a couple of minutes reeling in, I saw this huge fish leap out of the water some 150 metres behind us. Reality then dawned………How the hell am I going to get this brut in, and what do we do with it then????? After battling with it for some 20 minutes we had it about 20 metres behind us. Thrashing around on the suffice one minute than diving deep the next. The boat was still doing some 6 knots on just the main sail and the wind (Murphy strikes again) was getting up. So it was VERY hard work. Meanwhile cew was desperately trying to get a picture of it on the surface. (We have loads of pictures of the sea now)


As we got the fish nearer we managed to determine that it was a Dorado (The Golden one) and it was a livid golden and luminous green colour. It was also well over a metre long………..After working him for some 30 minutes, my arms were starting to shake. It was truly hard work, and crew was becoming increasingly concerned about how we would get it on board and what we would have to do to dispatch it once aboard.

In the event, after a struggle of 35 minutes our fish managed to snap a 50lbs breaking strain line. So that is a clue as to how big it was. So it was a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand it would have been great to land such a magnificent specimen, on the other the mayhem that would have resulted in getting on board was something we could have done with out!!


The second fish was a flying fish who landed around 2000. After some flapping about I managed to catch it and then returned him to the sea. My good deed for the day.


We have chicken curry for dinner tonight, courtesy of Anne Hartshorn . Thank you Anne, really looking forward to it!!


We are now on passage to Marina Bay, Gibraltar, having decided to carry on after such a joyful sail. Under engine now, but at least the crew is now getting some kip.


Until the weekend then……………………..