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Cleone - CLEONE Leg 22 Day 12 - Nearer to Freedom

15 January 2009


Yesterday Cleone forces capture and killed the Big Yin in a pre-planned operation.

It was a combined operation, of course.  Jenni provided the Intelligence: "The fridge is empty; there's no supper unless you catch him".  The Skipper sorted the logistics (right kit, right place, right time - Rod, Reel, Lure, Gaff, Hammer, Bucket, Rope, Knife, Chopping Board - you know the score), Shayne deployed an irresistible lure and wielded a skilful gaff and Graham, of course, spearheaded the assault.  We were all looking reflective as the prospect of another protein-less meal looked more and more certain, when the now-familiar whine of the reel unexpectedly interrupted us.  We had been fishing all day, with no result.  The Skipper was steering.  Shayne, in the fore-peak, woke from a deep sleep, leapt through the cabin and cockpit and onto the aft deck in record time.  But it was no use; Graham was easily there first.  A dogged fight followed.  Inch by inch Graham took in line; it was clear that this was no minnow.  The Skipper did his best to slow the boat down by furling the Genoa, and finally Shane was able to gaff this ocean monster and bring him on board.  But the fight was by no means over, and Billy (he confessed his name just before he died) flapped and struggled, resisting all attempts to subdue him.  But we have a trained killer aboard.  Diving below, and seizing a purloined table napkin and his trusty one-pound hammer, the skipper grabbed the magnificent 20 lb Mahi Mahi by the tail and struck it a fatal blow.  Within seconds, the aft deck, Shane, Graham and the Skipper himself were covered in blood.  But the deed was done, and supper was in the bucket.  Knowing and trusting her man, Jenni had already prepared oil, spices and vinegar, and soon the steaks were being marinaded before being baked for our supper. And excellent it was too, with enough left over to feed us tonight.

As promised, the wind held up well throughout the day, with the Skipper only having to threaten the use of the Spinnaker once. As the day wore on, the seas built up, and by evening a roly swell had developed from the South East. As usual, Cleone rode these well, but the conditions made cooking and other domestic tasks hard work. However, the crew are well acclimatised now, and all has been well, with only the occasional item flying across the cabin. We are learning by our mistakes, though eating off one's knee in the cockpit is still a challenge, with food and drink tending to fly off the plate or out of the mug given the smallest chance. But the sun has shone, and we have less than 120 miles to go to Jamestown, where the rest of the World ARC Fleet should already be assembled. We will have a couple of days ashore, all being well, before setting out for the next leg to Salvador. We will let you know when we arrive!

James, Graham, Jenni and Shayne

Yacht Cleone
16o57'S 004o20'W



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