At Sea

Our crossing was about as good as they come. Despite a dark night- the moon set at 2348, so no help there- but conditions were quite calm, and our miles crossing the banks clicked by while we took turns at watch. Our routine seems to be finding a rhythm, with me getting some shuteye before midnight, then taking over during the wee hours while the Admiral sacks out. Our internal clocks are regulated differently, probably a benefit as we seem to be on schedules that inherently have one of us dozing while the other is more alert. We also seem to share polarized feelings about overnights in general, I enjoy the solitude of being at sea at night, the heightened awareness of surroundings at the same time there can be nothing happening for miles around. The admiral takes the path that the overnight is a means to an end, and finds little romance in arriving bleary-eyed and needing rest. I think that I will dig out some of my old pipes from the far spaces of the attic at home, and bring some for the next crossing, since the pipe and some stale tobacco would add nicely to the romance of being on watch at three in the morning. (I wasn’t actually on watch at three in the morning, but that doesn’t detract from the image!)

I dozed until about 2300 hrs then took over while Barb went below for some zz’s. I was able to do some reading with the aid of a red “headlight” that didn’t destroy night vision, and finished a Higgins spy novel. I also noted that I was able to see the bottom at 40 ft. with the aid of a flashlight, and later a handheld spotlight. I decided that the temporary loss of night vision would be a small exchange for the experience of seeing the bottom sliding under us for the last time until our next visit.

I was relieved of my watch at about 0200, with the admiral taking her position at the helm. I headed for the master stateroom berth, taking advantage of the smooth conditions to get some sleep. I slept for a few hours until the motion increased enough to wake me at about 0430. My suspicions were confirmed as I peeked at the chart plotter- we were in the Gulf Stream! Our speed over ground was about 9 kts as we got a substantial boost from the current. Conditions were still fairly smooth, considering that crossing the Gulf Stream is nearly always a bit sloppier than the waters on either side. I took over while the Admiral caught a bit more sleep until sunrise.

Conditions held as the sun came up behind us, and with more light, we were able to drop a few lines over the side. Within 10 minutes, the first hookup came, I was in the head and heard an odd sound, and it dawned on me that what I was hearing was the sound of a reel singing, the sound traveling through hull from the rail above that the rod was clamped to! That business was quickly finished as the admiral backed down the throttle and we both dashed for the rod. A nice mahi was shortly thrashing around in the cockpit. Dinner! Prime fare, and free to boot! Although not avid fishermen, we do enjoy trolling a line while we cruise outside, and fresh mahi on the grill is a real treat. Simple to prepare, and one of the few healthy meals that are truly enjoyable! There’s nothing quite like the excitement of hearing that reel singing to add a bit of diversion to an otherwise ordinary day at sea!

The rest of our cruise was uneventful; we did hook into 3 more fish. We landed two mahi, released one of those, and lost the third which spat out the hook just after making the reel sing. It seemed like that one was the most aggressive of all. Isn’t the one that got away always the big one? We did have some company as a pod of porpoise joined us for about a half hour, entertaining us with their antics on our bow wave. We also saw quite a few turtles that would quickly dive as we approached. Much to shy for the camera! Our conditions held at calm seas and light winds for the duration, a crossing to subscribe to! We’ll take one of those the next time, please!

One Response to “At Sea”

  1. Lisa on 11 May 2011 at 11:32 PM #

    What a beauty
    Barb eating fish?!!
    always tastes better fresh!
    So sayeth the fishmonger