Blue Marlin on the line, multiple sea turtle sightings and swimming with dolphins.......ho hum! Who said passages are to be feared?
We've been dreading the next few weeks and all the long passages we will need to make. I constantly worry about sleep deprivation and making poor decisions, having to feed and entertain the kids all day long and keeping seasickness at bay, throw in a general fear of the unknown and it doesn't make me look forward to the longer passages. However, this 350 mile passage has been great so far. This is the longest, all 5 of us, have been at sea without going into port, thus far. We've done a number of overnighters and a handful of two night trips, but the winds are light down here and this will be three full days at sea. The wind generally picks up about noon and dies down about midnight due to the land sea influence. We sail as long as we can and when the wind drops, late in the evening, we throw on the old iron mainsail and motor until it picks up again. Today we hooked a Blue Marlin on one of our hand lines. This one wasn't nearly as dramatic as the Striped Marlin we caught in the Sea of Cortez. In fact we didn't even know we had it on the line right away since there is no line to run out when you are using a hand line. Eventually you just end up dragging the fish and tire it out that way. It is probably not the most sporting way of catching a fish, but we are less about the sport and more about feeding our bellies. It fought Mike at the surface, as he was trying to remove the hook, but eventually it jumped and broke free of the hook and swam away. A little tired, but hopefully fine.
Every morning while the seas are glassy we spot sea turtles and record them in our data sheets. Occasionally we divert course and try to sneak up on one, but they are not very social and dive quite quickly. Just today we have recorded over 30 sea turtle sightings.
We regularly have dolphins passing by, but with the flat seas and warm water temperature (86F) the kids convinced us to stop the boat and jump in for a swim. Mike and I are always leery of jumping in over deep water. When the closest land is a mile under you, it is a little intimidating. The boys however, have no such fear. They donned masks and jumped right in, getting glimpses of fast swimming dolphins streaking past them. The water was cobalt blue and visibility was great, perfect for taking a dip with the local dolphins! This was a very spontaneous decision, so unfortunately, we didn't have our underwater camera ready. Next time we will get the go pro out and try to record some of these interactions. Zander made a a rope ladder and it works great since the dinghy on the davits blocks our access to the swim platform on the stern. Now it is much easier to get back on the boat.
I'm also happy to report that after the third night at sea, I actually feel more rested than I did after the first. This does help pacify my fears about going offshore. There is a rhythm to being at sea, and once you fall into it, the days don't seem so long and instead of just trying to survive, you can actually thrive. We've got about 900 miles more to go to get to Panama, but we are finally starting to tick off some of those miles and that feels good.