Mike Share & Sammy Byron
Mon 26 Apr 2010 19:24
Well the day has finally come, we caught a fish! And what a fish it is (was).... A Wahoo which I am guessing, must have weighed abt 20kg (that's about 44lb my non-metric American friends) and measured 155cm from it's sharp pointy end to it's amazing tail. That's a bit longer than Sammy is tall, who couldn't quite lift the beast!
As you can tell we are pretty excited abt finally catching something. We just need some friends here to share the huge amounts of meat! I had a rude awakening - something abt a fish - that I could have done without at 7:30 this morning  and came on deck to find 2 nicely tangled lines with a lot of pressure on them. After abt 20 mins of un-tangling and hauling we saw the fins and wondered if a shark was having a feed, thankfully not. Thank God it was pretty well dead on arrival at the boat (a bit of alcohol in it's gills confirmed that) as it looked pretty pissed off and had a lot of big pointy teeth! It took a fair bit of hauling to get it on the rail so we were grateful the wind and sea had calmed a fair bit since last night so we could actually get it onboard. I held it vertically over the stern the whilst Sammy got busy with a knife and gutted it, covering poor Quartermoon in a ton of blood and guts. (I actually thought it was pregnant, as it had a massive belly full of water but remembered that fish are in fact fish not mammals, must have been lack of sleep!)
So after a few "WAHOOO"s and "Jesus it's so BIG"s we got to filleting it. Took a while, did I mention how big it is?! We have some marinading as Cerviche, some freezing (hopefully) and some ready for the Barbee for lunch. Wahoo curry for dinner, Wahoo fishfingers for breakfast, Wahoo salad Nicoise for tomorrow's lunch.... any more recipe's welcome pls to QM address!
So fish aside, we have covered a wacking 1140nm in exactly 1 week. Only 1860 left to go to Hiva Oa... We are averaging abt 165 miles a day or so which we are quite happy with; this is a big puddle to cross. That destination only really marks the beginning of all the fun exploring ahead of us in the South Pacific. When we get to the Marquesas we still have at least another 4000nm back to Sydney but through fairly nicely spaced destinations. After this a 5 day sail will seem easy!
Our rough plan is thus for those looking for a holiday from Sydney's harsh winter or UK's harsher Summer. (Or even California's not-so-bad Summer):
May/June - Marquesas & Tuamotu's
July - Society Islands (Tahiti, Bora Bora etc)
Aug - Sth Cook Islands and Tonga
Sept/Oct - Fiji/Vanuatu
Oct - New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands
Nov - Lord Howe Island/Sydney (or maybe Bundaberg tbd....)
If that seems a bit fast and/or vague then there is a reason - Due to the South Pacific Season Cyclone (hurricane in Seppo) season, we have a limited window to sail these islands. Also you spend a LONG time on passages, waiting for wind, fixing/maintaining/repairing and dealing with different country's beaurocracy. As if 3 weeks or so at sea isn't enough, the French in their infinite wisdom will fine us if we head to our desired landfall of Fatu Hiva; so we have to head to a different island to check in and then beat back against the wind to see the best that island chain has to offer. I suppose I could have more to complain about....
I just looked up from the PC (yep mac died  ;-() and this has to be the best day of this crossing yet. The seas have finally calmed, there are a few clouds in the distance and we are tanking along at 7 knots. Add to that just had a packet of bacon, scrambled eggs and homemade toast and marmalade. About ready for the first siesta of the day to dream of how good that fish is gonna taste!
Will bore you more soon, QM out.