Current Position: 06 57S 089 35W
24 hour progress: 137nm, 5.7kts avg SOG. Overall progress for the passage is 633nm with approximately 1660nm to go on the great circle route. We were mostly sailing a close reach yesterday though we would come up and fall back off depending on the conditions. We sailed most of yesterday without any reefs but added 2 reefs to the main in the early morning hours. Winds are now around 15-20kts with some higher gusts and we have fallen off to a beam reach. The seas are still fairly calm.
The crew continues to be well, well fed and well rested. We put the fishing line in again yesterday and caught a small mahi around lunch time. Megan whipped up fish tacos and everyone was happy though there wasn't much fish left after the meal, and that was devoured in an afternoon snack. We usually hope for two meals from a fish, but that of course varies...
For us, catching a fish triggers a whole lot of activity aboard and usually consumes a couple of hours of our day. We fish with a hand reel—think of a plastic ring with a groove around the perimeter for winding line—that is secured to the boat with an extremely robust bungee cord (doubled 10mm) that sets the hook. The lure is trailed about 16-18 meters behind the boat. The line is a 250lb test monofilament that is pulled in by hand, usually while wearing leather gloves. The line is retrieved with the fingers over the top, and the thumbs aren't really used such that the line can be safely dropped clear of all digits if a large fish should run. When the fish is pulled alongside the boat, a second person attempts to gaffe the fish. We have a nice gaffe, but gaffing is an art that requires practice, and we aren't exactly good at it yet. Once the fish is brought on to the side deck, we kill it (which is always a bit sad), remove the lure from the mouth, secure a 8mm line around the tail, slit the gills, and toss the fish back overboard to bleed out in the water. While the fish trails behind the boat, the deck is washed off with salt water, and the meal prep starts—could be sushi rice, tortillas, etc. The bled fish is then brought back aboard and filleted. Mahi is pretty easy to fillet, other fish a little harder. We're not going to win any prizes for the speed and efficiency with which we fillet our catch. The fillets get carried inside to the galley as they come off the fish to be skinned and sliced for the meal which is also still being prepped. By the time the deck and outside cutting board are all cleaned up, there is food just about ready to eat. Usually there is one immediate meal (maybe a poke or sushi), and fish has been prepped for a second meal, (fillets cut to be cooked or bite size pieces for ceviche). A good meal is enjoyed together and then it is time to clean the galley. Of course this all means that fish should ideally bite just before lunchtime; sometimes the fish are cooperative other times they don't bite or get away.