Tasman Crossing: Day 6

KeyTas
Author: Pete
Location: 28°58.331S’,  161°09.5648E’

 

Day 6 at sea.

Spent my watch last night stargazing in the trampoline. The wind was nil and the motors were humming contentedly, pushing us along through the calm seas. The trampoline has got to be one of my favorite spots in the world. Paradoxically, it could be anywhere in the world, I suppose. No light pollution out here besides the pesky moon, makes for a good show. This morning the wind filled in slightly so we flew the chute again and eventually got to a good six-knot clip. The clouds are back too! Is it worrisome that clouds are a welcome diversion?

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Another idyllic day with light winds and seas from astern, beaming sunshine and marbled ocean. The only little squall during the day was tracking right over our position but dissipated before it got to us.

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We caught a mahi-mahi today too! I like the Polynesian name because mahi means ‘strong’, and to stress the significance of something it is said twice. So mahi-mahi is “strong-strong!” And beautiful too. He hit our rainbow-fab squid lure in an arc of yellow lightning and we danced for a bit trying to reel him in. Eventually we brought him along side the boat, all fight and flash. They don’t have scales, but yellow-gold skin that catches the sun in eye popping contrast with the deep blue sea. He turned silvery with indigo spots when we welcomed him properly to the boat. Probably the worst I’ve ever felt about catching a fish but we’ll be well fed for the rest of the trip. He’s a predator too with half a dozen mauled fingerlings in his stomach. But now the hunter becomes the hunted! And later the new hunter (me) will become the plumber! Salt water galley pump is acting up and isn’t going to fix itself!

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Flew the spinnaker through the evening and into the night, it’s colors fading with the sunset. Really felt like ‘ghosting’ along with the billowing sail lurking through the dark seas like a pajamaed packman spook. Finally pulled it down in the dark when the winds freshened conveniently on a watch change.  Spinnaker flying under the sun all day in fair winds and following seas catching mahi mahi? Every day on passage is like that, right?

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1 Comment

  1. Greg   •  

    So…I finally did it. I looked up what a spinnaker was so I could retroactively make sense of what you’ve been writing about for months.

    spin·na·ker
    ˈspinəkər/
    noun
    a large three-cornered sail, typically bulging when full, set forward of the mainsail of a yacht when running before the wind.

    Not helpful.

    So I watched a video – this one…https://youtu.be/9RjXMOwIOhE
    My conclusions…
    1) Apparently, all sailors speak gibberish…didn’t understand that guy either. “I just pulled down the twing and you can see how I’ve got the tac and the clue at a very similar height…” Mm hmm.

    3) still not sure about the spinnaker, but at least 5:04 into a 5:34 video, he finally put the damn thing up, so I could visualize. It seemed like a complicated operation. the most horrifying part: “…and the trimming on a spinnaker is a continuous operation, it never stops.” Exhausting. I need more trampoline time and far fewer continuous operations that never stop.

    Fair winds and following seas, my friends (looked up following seas, too)

    -G

    P.S. The Mahi Mahi had it coming.

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