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Walkabout - The fish are biting

S6:23 W98:30

Day 4 was a grand fishing day!

We have two new crew onboard as of yesterday, first to be introduced is ‘Fish Whisperer Tom’ and the second is ‘Boat Whisperer Andrew’.

Walkabout is making good progress with a little over 600nm behind us. We have been flying the Mainsail and Genoa in various degrees of reef as we turned for our destination this morning at 0700 with Hiva Oa dead ahead. After a day or so of cloud it feels like we are leaving the squalls and rain behind and patchy blue skies are all around. The sea state is calmer if still a little lumpy and the roll and swell of the waves is now fully on our aft port quarter (back left side of the boat).

We have just spotted a small pod of dolphins off the port side only 10m from the boat heading our way! The best welcome to the day!

'Fish Whisperer Tom’ was keen to deploy the fishing rods and reels early yesterday and so over the last 24hrs we have had a number of successes. We landed two Mahi Mahi and another Yellow Fin Tuna. Due to the size of the Yellow Fin and one of the Mahi Mahi, we returned them to the sea to swim away but the second Mahi Mahi we filleted and had for supper. Andrew baked the fillets in the oven with a little lemon juice, oil, seasoning and herbs and served them up with rice, absolutely delicious!
The Yellow Fin Tuna we caught the previous day was enjoyed for lunch as sashimi in a Poki Bowl styleee.

We also had a number of fish lost along with lures and line! Three times the reel sang out as something large took the lure and ran away. You can hear the reel when we have a fish-on and on one occasion the reel was HOT to touch, on two occasions the reel ran out almost completely and sadly, we lost a good lure and a few of our wire traces. Luckily we have a box of spares but if we continue to lose kit like yesterday, we may have to come up with a more robust set up with what we have onboard.

‘Boat Whisperer Andrew’ was kept busy all day suggesting sail changes including set up and raising our Blue Water Runner in code zero mode until the wind picked up and so it came down. SSB radio morning and evening is a highlight for us all and our reception is pretty good these days with a number of new Ferrites (referred to as Ferrets :)) being clipped to some of our power cables to reduce the white noise and improve reception. Hearing other boats talk of their day and highlights including fish caught and weather, sail changes and speed. We have a number of comedians amongst the fleet so its always a good ‘crack’!

We are still all catching up on sleep during the day, either lying up on deck resting or down below in the oven-of-a-boat with the fan on in an attempt to cool down. The sea state is lumpy and so we take the occasional wave over the bow so leaving any hatches (windows) open means we take on water inside the boat which is never ideal as sea water never really dries due to the high salt content. So we make do what a fan while cooking or resting.

We’ve had boats on our chart plotter visible from day 1 of our crossing and last night we lost the last boat which makes a bid difference when sailing in such a vast ocean. This morning though, 'Into The Mystic' and ‘Solis’ have flashed up on the screen again which is comforting. They are both about 18-20nm was which is about the limit of vessels you can see via AIS (automatic identification system).

VHF is also great as we are able to radio up another boat within that 15-20nm radius and say hello. We spoke to ‘Into the Mystic’ a few times yesterday and also ‘Jadamama’ who are an Irish catamaran and a great bunch of guys.

We are all up on deck now enjoying cereal, yogurt and fruit for breakfast after a pretty calm night and so another day on the Big Blue begins ...

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