O yeah as I said in my in blog post from a few says ago I was sleeping and I never put anything on. Thats right this guy catches fish in his boxers. Yeah I know real sexy but you know I caught a great fish and that what counts, not the picture.
We spent the day working on Dragonsbane and I helped out some friends with there engine. Then this afternoon we went snorkeling around all the coral heads. I felt like I was swimming around a fish aquarium. The water here is so clear and clean its wonderful to swim in. I saw lots of black tip reef sharks swimming along the shore as well.
Tomorrow we are going to leave early so we can make the tides out of the Lagoon and into the Fakarava lagoon. I hope I have my tide right because the out going tide can reach 10 knots of current and our boat with the engine can only go 7.7 knots. So I hope this goes well.
Have a great night,
We made our landfall or I should say our lagoon fall at noon today. The Tuamotu Islands are ancient volcanoes that once peeked high out of the ocean like Hawaii, but the center volcanic plug that makes the island had sunk back into the ocean and left only a thin ring of land that stayed above the ocean water. Today we sailed though a small channel in the ring, into the old volcano. We sailed 7 more miles to the southern end of the lagoon and anchored in 40 feet of water. We had talked to a few sailors that were already anchored in Kauehi Island lagoon and when we dropped our anchor they came over the radio asking if we wanted to go snorkeling. Most of the lagoons that make up the Tuamotu Islands have large coral heads, that are taming with fish, sharks, and odd creatures. We joined the group and went about 1 mile away to a large coral head and jumped in. I saw two sharks, a black and white tipped reef sharks. I saw an octopus devouring a fish and millions more bright colored fish. After an hour of snorkeling we went back to Dragonsbane and I started dinner. I made fried potatoes, Thai Fish with peanut butter, soy sauce, and garlic. I finished up the meal with a cake I baked early in the day which was fun at 20 degrees as we sailed.
We enjoyed our dinner as we watched the sun being pulled down by a cloud hand that cause the rays of the sun to shine only through the fingers of the hand that struggled to end our day by snuffing out the light in the sky. The sky is so clear, each star is standing before a great milky galaxy. Stars are bigger then pin pricks in a dark paper bag, its as if a person took a hammer in a dark room and punched holes through the walls to let light in. This place is amazing and I am so far from anything that its hard to breath without wondering what will happen if I get hurt. I guess the most beautiful things in the world are worth the risk.
Current Postion: Kauehi Island, Tuaamotu
I have found the doors that lead to Heaven, Tuamotu
Change of plans folks, we are now heading to the island called Kauehi. It’s a nice little island where a few of our sailor friends are going. Also we have been motoring for the last 8 hours with no wind. We finally have enough wind to sail tonight and hopefully through tomorrow. But I can already feel the wind dying off as I am writing. Hopefully we will maintain 5 knots so we can arrive around noon. I just hope we can get into the island lagoon before the tides change. I would be very sad if we had to heave too for the night in the ocean. All is well here and I cooked up some pan fried Mahi Mahi and rice. The dinner was great and I cannot wait for more tuna fish sandwiches.
Take care everybody!
Current Position: 14deg 26.3min South, 145deg 30.48min West
If you have not guessed from the title of this blog today, it is true I finally caught my big Tuna/Mahi Mahi. I hope that you enjoyed my letter to the dear tuna fish that I wrote yesterday and shared with you on my blog. The tuna must have received my letter because they answered with a great bounty of the sea which is now in my stomach. The first tuna caught today was a nice sized blue fine tuna about 10 pounds. I was sitting before my rode and the reel went off like wild fire and I set the hook and drag. It was a easy battle for the small tuna, I reeled it in and bleed it out with my knife. I filleted it up and made 4 sushi rolls out of the blue tuna and set it aside for a per dinner snack. After cleaning up that mess I baked some chocolate chip cookies for a dessert that I would have after we enjoyed fresh baked tuna and sushi. I was feeling a little sleepy so at 4pm I took a nap and asked to be awaken at 5pm so I could start prepping the blue tuna to be baked for our dinner.
I was lying in my bunk sweating my butt off but managing to slip in and out of sleep like normal and thought of all things I will do when I get home. I have been on the sea for 8 months now and it has really just flown by. Then I heard that sweet sound that gets my heart pounding. My fish reel was on fire and line was being ripped off the reel. I rolled out of my bed and dashed up the companion way to my rod. I put my thumb on the spinning spool which heated up so fast my thumb hurt. I increased the drag and the spool stopped spinning out of control. Just then Adam looking over my shoulder said “Dam that is a big fish” I looked up and a huge Mahi Mahi burst out of the ocean into the air, showing off its bright colors of blue, yellow, and green. Its colors were so bright it was like a neon sign. My heart was thumping in my chest and the adrenaline was coursing through my veins as I held the rod and my arms strained against the weight of the big tuna. I started to reel in the line and tuna started to come at me, I reeled as fast as I could to keep the tension on the line. The rod was digging into my hip and my arms were burning but I kept fighting that fish as it got with in 10 feet of the boat and burst out of the water and whipped violently in the air. I could now see the whole fish up close and personal. The tuna dived down deep, it took off and took out about 100 feet of line in a flash. My dad worked the motor and Adam stood by with the gaff. It took about an hour or more of fighting the tuna until it was tired. I instructed Adam what to do and my dad when the tuna came close again. I handed the rod to Adam and had him bring the tuna in closers, my dad shut down the engine so the tuna would not be as scared. I reached down with the gaff and stuck him right behind the gill plate and heaved the tuna onto the sugar scope. The tuna went wild; it came off the gaff and dropped into the ocean. My heart dropped and I yelled to secure the fish line which Adam tried to hold off my back as it ran across my skin. I prayed that the hook would hold a few minutes longer. The hook held and I gaffed the tuna right behind the head. I sank the gaff deep into the tuna and dragged half of it onto the sugar scope. I grabbed it by the gills and hung on for dear life as the tuna thrashed around. Adam secured a line around the tale and I cut the gills with my knife. I felt the last death rattle of the big fish and was little sad to kill the beautiful fish but I was hunger too. Covered in sweat, blood, and fish guts I felt so happy and proud to have land such a big fish. She weighted in at 38lbs and was 4.5 feet long. This even we at sushi, Blue Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and a cookie with wine.
Remember to Dream Tonight,
Thank you everybody,
Current Position: 13deg 35.0min South, 145deg 12.3min West UTC 15:26 COG 220 SOG 2.8knots
Dear Tuna Fish,
I would like to inform you of a few personal facts. First, I have read many books on the subject of fishing on oceans, rivers, and lakes. I have fished all over the world and have had training from some of the best fishermen. Second for this trip I have consulted several cursing fishermen and bought one of the best books on the market to better understand the principals that allow me to catch you. Third I have invested roughly $1000 dollars on my fish pole/reel, hooks, lead, wire, swivels, and lots of line. So frankly after all that effort and work, I have to say to you with the most honesty of my heart, is you are PISSSING ME OFFFFF! You little silver, blue, red blooded, gill breath SOB have eaten half my fishing gear with out me catching a thing. I spent hours making trolling rigs to have them ripped off by your sharp teeth. I have deployed new lures with 800 pound test wire and yet you still just snap my line instead of just biting through it. Well guess what you 200 lbs tub meat I am going to get an all wire line, reel, and rod. I am going to catch you and all your friends. I will devour you raw, wrapped in rice and smothered in soy sauce. So keep laughing and enjoy all the time I have cut myself on the fishing line or lost my mind in a long rants of profanity. If I fail I ask kindly that all you Tuna just drop dead.
P.S. For all you salty dogs wondering where we are I will tell you! We are in the ocean and sailing through a non stop string of squalls that are mixing between 4 low pressure systems. We get hit by a squall that only packs 20 knots and rain. Then it passes leaving us with swirling wind at 4 knots and Drangonsbane just pitch poles in the confused, lump sea. This kind of sailing is worse then sailing through a wash machine because the wind changes direction by 40 degrees and blows from 2 to 20 knots. We have changed our sail configurations 8 times today and reefed at least 7 times and them let it out. But, I think I am getting a good work out and my guns are looking real good!
Take it easy and Enjoy your hot shower!
Current location: 12deg 24.6min South, 144deg 9.7min West, COG: 215 SOG: 2.9knots
Ok so, the morning we left Hakatea Bay Nuku Hiva I woke up and joined my dad in a cup of coffee and a French baguette with butter and local jam. It was about 7 am and the sun was already getting hot. I could hear a dog barking and barking on the small shore line that surrounded us with high cliffs beyond the rock beach. The dogs barking echoed around the little lagoon that we and 3 other sailboats where anchored in. I noticed that the dog had a wild goat cornered between the rock cliffs and the water and just stood there watching the dog bark. A local island man was climbing over the rocks and working his way to the dog. We watched for about 40 minutes and then the man was only 10 feet from the goat and dog. The goat kept his eyes glued to the dog and then the man jumped from his position, grabbed the goat by the horns and with one quick motion slashed the goats throat. I thought this was very interesting and a great way to start ones day. I did feel a little bad for the goat. After the man killed the goat he had the dog lock his jaws around the goats neck and left them there for a few minutes as he walked over to the cliff and started picking at the old lava rock wall. After awhile he came back and released the dog from the goat and walked over to the cliff where he had been picking at. He then stuck a stick into the hole he made and hung the goat from the stick in the cliff wall and dressed it out giving the dog its inner parts. He then skin and butchered the goat. I thought about going to shore and buy some of the meat from him but we had to get going to beat the incoming tide. I woke Adam, pulled the anchor and where off to the next Island.
As of today we change our sail configuration 3 times. We started the early morning out with a reefed main and jib. Then put the spinnaker pull out for the jib and went wing and wing with the main sail. Then the wind got really light so then a switch the spinnaker pole to the port side and flew the spinnaker. I am may drop the spinnaker and go back to the jib and pole for tonight but I may just run with the spinnaker tonight. Fingers crossed I don’t get hit with a squall again with that dam spinnaker up. But I love speed and without the spinnaker up I feel like I am moving backwards. I just want to get to the Tuamotu Islands and buy a big bag of pearls for a 100 bucks, lol.
Current Position: 11deg 11.4min South, 142deg 33.1min West: COG 244, SOG 4.8