Monday, May 21, 2007

May 21, 2007 - Enroute to Galapagos

The great genoa experiment of 2007 is now officially over. The wind died down enough this morning to take the genoa off of the roller furler and put the working jib back on. As soon as the jib was up and trimmed in, our boat speed jumped from the 4.5 kts that we had been doing with the staysail and main to 6 kts with the jib, staysail and main. We're still 325 miles from the Galapagos, but now I have hope for a Thursday, rather than Friday, arrival if the wind holds. Now that we are moving fast enough that the lures can actually fool a fish, we're hoping to catch a fish today.

Early this afternoon Sten climbed up into the cockpit to look at his lures. "I've got a fish on," Sten announced as climbed the companionway ladder. "Oh, shit. I've got a bird." He grabbed sunglasses and a shirt to protect his eyes and body, and gloves and pliers to remove the hook, while I got a towel to hold the bird. Sten slowly and steadily pulled in the line, while I stood there with the towel draped over both arms, ready to receive the bird. The bird fought against the line the whole way to the boat. Once the bird got close to the aft rail, he stuck out his feet and pushed against the pulpit. "The key here is to not break a wing," Sten said. At Sten's suggestion, I draped the towel over the bird's head to calm him down. Once blinded, he dropped right to the deck, and Sten was able to work the hook out of the bird's jaw without using the pliers while I gently held the bird down. Once the hook was free, I bundled up the bird and held him out past the transom, and tossed him back into the water, making certain that he didn't land on the swim platform. He bobbed for just a moment, then took off, getting away from Mata'irea as fast as his wings could carry him.

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