Sunday 10 May, 7.49 am
After making wonderful time under sail, the wind died off early last night and except for a short break around 9:00pm when we stopped to watch a DVD in the cockpit, the motor has been on for about 14 hours. A brief promise of a strengthening sou westerly had us scrambling to pull out the headsails, even pole the big genoa out so that we could run down wind, but it was not to be. After 10 minutes we rolled the sails up again (at least the jibs) and hoisted the iron topsail again – chug, chug, chug. We’ve kept the main sail sheeted right out to catch the small amount of wind that is coming in from behind, but without the steadying influence of the engine, we’d be rolled from side to side by the continuing swell. The engine is a nice option to have up our sleeve. Poor ol’ Captn Cook, he didn’t even have any galley slaves to row him through the light patches, he must have just sat around thinking of new places to explore, drawing his charts and chatting with Joseph Banks about what to name everything.
It’s morning time now and the daily routines are beginning to play out. I took over from Bob around 4:00am and when there was sufficient light I quietly slipped the lure back over the stern. I cooked me toast, ate me cereal had a nice hot cup of cocoa, then began settling down to a good read from the onboard library … Tales of The South Pacific (James A. Michener), it was war time, the action was centred around Guadal Canal in the Solomons against a relentless Japanese force. The main characters in the book, (at least in the early chapters) however, were based everywhere else, Norfolk Island and in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu) – at Santo, then Efate – all very topical for our mission … then all of a sudden the line went berserk again. No patented tin alarm this time – it went over board in the confusion of catching Wahoo yesterday. Down went the book, on went the gloves, all the while the line raced out towards that final knot on the spool. The one you hope is tied securely, but even if it is, there’s still no guarantee the line will hold out. Down below, all were asleep, and over the noise of the engine it was probably wishful thinking on my part to think my cries for help could be heard. Slowly and steadily I pulled in the line after first cutting the engine to slow us down. And what was on the line? Ho hum … another 1.2 metre long Wahoo… see how long it takes for the extraordinary to before the ordinary … As the fish came alongside I could see that the hook was well imbedded, so I attempted Will’s hoist, pull and lift maneuver of the day before.
The thrashing was intense as the fish left the water but finally the flapping fish was brought over the hand rail and onto the deck, whereupon the hook promptly fell out of its mouth. It was jumping so high I thought it was a matter of time before the inevitable happened so taking a leaf out of Crikey Steve Irwin’s book I pounced on the little fella, armed only with my bare hands … oh … and a big sharp knife. Not a very strong knife as it turned out, because it broke at the hilt, but by now the commotion had brought an audience of Will and Bob, who handed me a second knife. Bob once again expressed compassion for this poor deceased creature of the deep lying on the deck, but as Bob says, “gee they taste good… they would be the best tasting fish, ever”. He’s right, last nights dinner of wahoo steaks in bread crumbs was something else. Thank you Martin (even better than tuna) “Tuna!!, that comes out of cans!!” Source: You guessed it…
At the moment we have the lure safetly stowed on board. Our fridge can only hold so much !!
The weather is certainly starting to warm up as we head north, and the water is also considerably warmer than down south.
Well done Graeme on completing the walk4icare walk in southern Victoria!! I look forward to hearing how it all went.
Thank you to everyone who’s been leaving messages on the website. And a very big thankyou to Mike Clarke, who’s been keeping the site up to date. Also, thank you to my very special Linda for the “packages” she put aboard prior to our departure … to be opened day 3, 8, 11 and upon arrival. After finding Freddo Frogs holding a message, “Are we there yet?” in the Day 3 package we were tempted to ignore the writing on the outside of the other packages and rip the paper off, but we have been well behaved. Today we can open Day 8 package!!
Smooth sea, fair breeze and “Are we there yet?”