Monday, July 12, 2010

July 3, 2010, 15:25 PDT

N 28°35.305, W 146°49.845’

Ok, so it’s catch up time for me and this journal/blog. That squall mentioned the last time I made an entry nearly soaked me and my laptop. Funny thing about squalls, you see them one minute on the horizon and the next thing you know, they’re staring you down over the side of the boat. They move fast. The air in front of a squall is also fast and typically in the direction we want to travel; not so much for the air left behind a squall. A squall sucks up all the surrounding air in order to fuel its forward momentum which leaves little wind left in its wake. Once the squall passes, you typically find yourself without any useful wind and rocking back and forth. Not a good time.

So the flying fish thing is even more interesting than previously reported. These fish actually propel themselves out of the water and fly anywhere from a few feet to at least one hundred yards. They even flap their wings (fins) and can change direction in mid air. They really are interesting to watch. The thing is you usually see just one or two of them at a time flying off in the distance. I’m waiting for something higher in the food chain to come along and scare a whole school of these fish and watch them all scatter at once. That at least might make it easier to get a picture or some video footage of them in flight. Otherwise, it’s too hard to know when or where they’re going to take flight.

Two nights ago at the 21:00 watch change, Richard was giving me the watch report when all of a sudden a bunch of dolphin showed up and started swimming in the bow wake and all around the boat. There were easily 20 or so of these dolphins and they were all over the place; swimming synchronously in packs of 5 or so or singly darting from port to starboard and back at the bow of the boat. It was a pretty amazing show while it lasted and hopefully we got some good video. I keep looking forward to these pre-dusk shows but they haven’t returned since. Oh well, we still have just under 700 miles to go; maybe tonight. There's a short video of the action at the bottom of this post.

I know! Just under 700 miles to go and we’ll be in Hilo. I can’t fathom that right now. It seems like we’ve been on this boat forever and the scenery doesn’t change, one day goes by then the next without anything to demarcate one from the other and the next thing you know you can look at the chartplotter and there’s land on the screen with an “X marks the spot” for your final destination. It’s just awesome!

I cooked the last of the tuna I caught back on June 21st. We enjoyed most of it as tuna fish salad sandwiches on Richard’s homemade bread (Yes! He even makes bread on the boat! What a guy!) but we also had it for dinner in a number of different entrees. Only wish we had been someplace where we might have been able to grill some tuna steaks up…that would have been delicious! I’ve had the fishing pole set everyday now for the past few days to no avail. I think it’s because the water temperature is too high. Right now the water temperature is 80.3° F and the fish have to be down further in cooler waters closer to 50-60° (at least that’s my bet). Right now I’m looking through my tackle to see if I have something that will help me get the lures to that level in the water column.

We spotted a red-billed tropicbird the other day. We were actually trying to discern what this other bird was that was circling the boat (I thought it was a parasitic jaeger) when out of nowhere (because that’s where we are right now, the middle of nowhere) comes this red-billed tropicbird. It’s a very distinctive bird with a red bill and a very long tail. I think I got a decent picture, can’t remember. And of course we’ve seen loads of black-footed albatrosses.

The past few nights we have also started having some gorgeous sunsets. Of course these are immediately followed by the nightly squalls described earlier. During the squalls it never quite rains enough or long enough to get the soap out to bathe in the cockpit. It would certainly help check that item off of my to-do list every day.

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