Zzzzzeeeeeeee…. We’re ON!

4th May 2017. 12.30pm local time, roughly 700 miles east of the Marquesas.

There’s a funny thing that happens at sea. I know I’m not the only sailor to experience this (although I am definitely more neurotic than some). There comes a moment when everything is going smoothly and easily, and suddenly you start to think when will the drama start again?

Woooahwaiiit that’s the fishing line running. Dieeeetmar!

You see, that’s exactly what I mean. I sat down to write this blog post and then suddenly there’s a clicking, whirring noise that tells us that for the first time in five days, we have a fish on the hook. Woohoo! I am usually busy doing something when a fish bites. I’m never just sitting next to the fishing rod – that would be far too easy. No, I’m usually on the loo, or cooking scrambled eggs, or in the middle of something fiddly. This time at least I just had to get out of the big, comfy, black leather captain’s chair – easier said than done in 36° heat though, if you know what I mean

Goodness knows where all the fish have been for the last five days. Dietmar has tried so many different lures. As if to make up for the lack of action, now there’s a beast on the line and it’s running. It’s taken another 200 metres of line before Dietmar can get it under control. Even with the reel brake full on, it’s still taking line. ZZzzzeeeeeeee

“Quick, turn the boat into the wind and lose some speed (what?! Finally we have some wind and you want to slow us down? ;))!. And get the camera!

I’m really wishing that we hadn’t just hoisted a full mainsail for the first time in 4 days, and that we didn’t have a full poled-out genoa. Trying to maintain a balance between super low speeds and not thrashing the rig to death is certainly a challenge. Carefully, I get both sails under control and eventually drop our speed to a very sedate 2.5kts.

Meantime, the struggle continues in the pushpit (the very last few feet of the boat). Holy moly, it’s a big’un. With 500m of line out, finally the fish starts to tire and Dietmar can begin to reel it in. We are both wondering what on earth is putting up such a fight. As it comes closer to the boat, we can see it flashing turquoise and silvery-yellow in the cobalt seas. Initially, Dietmar thinks it is a sailfish, but when it comes closer we can see its dorsal fin break the surface and it isn’t a sail. It dives. And again. It tries to go under the boat and Dietmar manages to stop it from doing so. That would be a disaster. Neither of us fancy having to swim here to unwrap heavy-duty fishing line from the propeller. No, sirree. Suddenly the beast comes to the surface and leaps, clearly not interested in coming quietly. Wow. It’s a swordfish. Flippin’ ‘eck. Trying to get this bad boy on board is going to be an adventure…

Dietmar is starting to complain that his arms are hurting. I’m not flipping well surprised! I don’t volunteer for any fishing heroics. Dietmar’s arms are four times the size of mine; if he is struggling to hold it, I’d probably end up water-skiing behind it. I remind him that this is better than going to the gym. Obviously.

“Get the gaff! Where are my fishing gloves? Wet the deck! Mein Gott, have you seen the size of this fish? Can’t you slow us down any more?”

A thousand requests and 40(!) minutes later, we have sailed nearly a mile in the wrong direction and then let a huge (for this boat) swordfish run free again. We decided it was too magnificent to kill, not to mention too big for us to eat. About 1,60 meter long, maybe 100lbs and so very beautiful. Swim free, fabulous creature. Sorry we messed up your day. Please send us your smaller friends.

694 miles to go. We sailed the 708th mile twice. You see, just when it’s all becoming a bit samey

One thought on “Zzzzzeeeeeeee…. We’re ON!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.