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19 March 2010

FISH! FISH! We've caught a #*$@** Fish!!!

Just when the novelty of Champagne, trade wind sailing was beginning to wear off, our fishing reel whizzed into life at four fifteen this afternoon.

Partly due to luck, but more so due to Joel's sixth sense (or so he would have us believe), he made it to the rod first and therefore laid claim to whatever was on the other end...

Trying to slow a sixty tonne boat with three sails at full hoist in 20kts of breeze is no mean feat. After a gruelling 3 minute fight, an exhausted Joel passed the rod to Heidi who battled relentlessly for another 10 minutes before we caught a first glimpse...

At first all we could see was a magnificent electric blue shadow, as Heidi patiently reeled in, a full length dorsal fin came into view. Even while being towed at 4-5kts, it was able to remain under the surface, swimming powerfully from left to right. Initial estimates from the now ecstatic (and possibly a little biased) crew put this fish at five feet long and 50lbs.

Now came the tricky bit. Until now the largest fish we've caught has been half this size and we were always able to lift them onboard. I grabbed the gaff from the aft-locker and, having never properly gaffed a big fish before, was quietly relieved when Joel asked for it.

After his second attempt and with bowels trailing in the fish's wake, I concluded Joel has a similar level of experience to me in this unique area of expertise.

Once on deck, Sofia eased its passing with some of St. Vincent's 80% vol. Sunset Rum. In my book, any creature that survives a mouthful of this vile toxin deserves to live. Unfortunately for our fish, between Joel's gaffing and Sofia's Rum punch, fish is on the menu for a long time!


06 deg 14 min S 110 deg 15 min W 1800 LT (UTC -7)