08 January 2009

08-Jan-2009 Noon Update

Atlantic Crossing Day #15
North Atlantic Ocean

  • 108 nm last 24 hours
  • 1721 nm from Cape Verde
  • 301 nm to Barbados
  • Winds NE 10 Knots
  • Seas NE 2-3 feet, 5 foot NE Swell
Fish On!!!! Right at noon today we hooked a 4 foot Wahoo that for once we did not throw back. We do not use fishing poles. Instead, we use a heavy drag line. Its a small, heavy, dark colored cord that has a 4 foot heavy steel leader attached to a large swivel with a colorful lure. On the end that attaches to the boat is a loop of bungee cord that acts as a shock absorber when the fish strikes. There is also a loop of line that is clothes pinned to the life lines so when a fish does hit the lure we can hear it snap, letting us know there is something on the line.

The main reason we use this and not a fishing pole is that it is to hard to slow the boat down in order to reel in a fish. The drag line we use is not very sporting because it drags the fish right up to the surface, giving him little change to fight.

We brought today's Wahoo up on deck after dragging him for a bit thru the water so he would tire out. Since the drag line gear is so heavy duty there is no need for a gaff hook. We just swing the fish on deck. As soon as the fish is on deck its Amy's job to get him drunk. We have an old bottle of rot gut berry flavored Mexican vodka that we have been carrying around the world just for this purpose. One splash of this through the fish's gills takes the fight right out of him. It is far messier trying to bash a fish on the head and getting blood is splattering all over the boat than it is to kill him with a little vodka.

The hard part is cleaning the fish because Sandpiper does not really have a good spot for doing this. We take the fish up forward of the pilot house to slice him up. Its a bit of a circus routine trying to hold the fish, bucket of water, bowl, knives, and pliers while trying to skin and fillet the fish. Its a real back killer.

As I type this Amy is frying him up for a late lunch. It doesn't get any fresher than this.

This morning while looking at the mast it still seemed like it was jiggling around in the middle. So Amy acted as safety officer while I climbed up to the spreaders using the mast's folding mast steps. I attached another sling to pull against the one I installed yesterday. These 2 slings are now functioning as the broken lower shrouds. And once both were ratcheted down, the mast is looking pretty secure.

We are still not using the main sail. But we are still averaging 4-5 knots without it using the poled out jib to starboard and staysail out to port. If we can keep making 100 mile days then we can plan on arriving at Barbados Sunday morning.

No traffic last 24 hours.

More in 24,
Tom and Amy


Naomi said...

Wow - crazy story. Good to hear that you've managed to stabilize the rig. I'm enjoying your ongoing updates - only a few more days to sun and sand!

ames said...

hey you know phishy is playing hear pat in the summertime?? deer creek!

ames said...

fyi, here's so far

June 4 & 5 Jones Beach (New York)
June 6 Great Woods (Boston)
June 7 Susquehanna Bank Center (Philly)
June 9 Asheville Civic Center (Asheville, NC)
June 16 Fox Theater (St. Louis)
June 18 Post-Gazette Pavilion (Pittsburgh)
June 19 Deer Creek (Indy)
June 20-21 Alpine Valley (East Troy)