Sail Mail - April 11, 2015

Location: 34 06.6N - 138 44.4W - 1250nm NE of Hilo HI - 830nm W-SW of SF - 1700nm SE of Dutch Harbor Alaska
Course: 354
Speed: 8.5 knots
Sea: 8 feet
Wind: 15-18 from N

Navigation wise, our glorious path heading directly at SF for 800 miles came to an end today. Per forecast, the winds shifted more to the east. We've tacked on that which will take us up into the center of a high pressure system. Best case we get some light air sailing if we get lucky with the wind direction. Worst case we have to motor for a day or two once we are in there.

After three days of not fishing, we decided to try our luck again. There were more birds in the area and we had found plenty of squid on deck. Both good signs for fishing. The little pink squid was looking pretty chewed up so I re-rigged it as two little pink squid swimming close to each other. What fish could resist such a sumptuous offering?

Two hours later, with the boat slowed down to ~6kts in a lull, I was watching the hand lines. One of them went tight, ripping the slacked mono-filament out of the sea all the way to the lure 150 feet back. With Johnny asleep, Garrett and I went to work on pulling the beast in. Whatever it was was big. We only got a few glimpses of a tall fin snaking in a serpentine pattern at the surface as the fish neared the boat.

With just 10 feet to go before the fish was on the boat, it revealed itself as a spear fish. A cousin of the marlin, sword fish and sail fish. Dubiously gaffed, we got the fish on-board but were faced with a new problem...it took both of us to restrain the 6 foot long fish and there was no third hand. It would have been too easy for the fish to slip the gaff and hook and escape if we couldn't calm it down.

With no immediate means of killing the fish in arms reach, I punched it in the face. Repeatedly. That stopped it and the butt end of a fishing pole finished it off. The six bags of fish we have in the freezer was totally worth the bleeding knuckles.

We also fixed the port engine today. Swapping the battery out did the trick.