Tuesday 7/23/2013 19:00 Posting by Dennis:
16 30.662 S 151 46.260 W
We have left the island of Huahine with a very strong wind from the east, blowing around 30 knots. This wind has been blowing ever since Pat has left. It makes doing anything pretty difficult. You can’t go very far in the dingy because you get totally soaked and the snorkeling is not great because of the poor visibility due to the stirred up water. Anyway we left Huahine and sailed in pretty big seas with a very stiff breeze. The seas were a little over fifteen feet but at least they were not as confused as they have been. We were running with a triple reefed main and the yankee totally rolled out. The rum line put us running tight downwind so we were gybing back and forth across it. The speeds we were doing were really great though as we surfed down the face of the waves. After we had been out a couple of hours Barb noticed sea birds circling above our trolling lures. We are a little cautious with the sea birds as we have already had the experience of catching and releasing a sea bird. When she went back to pull on the lines she realized that we had a fish on. She started pulling the line in but this time the fish was really fighting back. It would jump out of the water to try and shake the hook. She was yelling at me to hurry because she thought we could lose it. My job while she plays the fish is to empty the cockpit, get the washdown pump set up, hose down everything so the blood and fish slime does not stick to everything and get the gaff ready. Barb managed to pull the fish close to the boat and as the boat rolled and surfed down waves going seven knots or more, I managed to gaff the fish and heaved it in the cockpit. It was a beautiful 20 lb Dorado flopping all over the boat. It took me over an hour to fillet the fish and clean up the boat. It is tough filleting a fish, bent over with your head between your knees, fish at your feet sliding this way and that while you roll around in the waves. Every once in a while, when a particular large wave rolls the boat, you have to catch yourself so you don’t crash head first into the coaming on the other side of the cockpit. But I managed to get the job done and we had fish to eat for the next few days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (starting with a fine meal of Poisson Cruz). The rest of the sail was pretty uneventful, just fantastic speeds as we rounded the north end of Bora Bora on a beam reach. The island looks so majestic with the mountain rising out of the water in the distance. It is a very impressive sight to say the least.