Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 11, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 9

The Pacific Ocean is vast. The very word seems to have been created to describe this ocean. It is the largest ocean in the world, measuring 11,000 miles east to west and 9,000 miles north to south. And it is empty. Since leaving the near shore offshore waters, we have only seen a few ships and one other sailboat. Dolphins have only visited us once, and birds are few and far between. And yet, in the midst of all this vast emptiness, we nearly managed to hit something.

We've sailed into a hole, an area of very little wind, which our latest weather chart suggests we may be stuck in for the next few days. With less wind, the sails slat loudly as we roll in the swell. The noise is grating, and the motion is not good for the rigging. Sten had just gotten out of the cockpit to tighten up the preventer when he noticed a weather buoy about 100 yards off our port bow. "Holy shit," he exclaimed. We would have hit the thing if we hadn't immediately altered course. Then he whooped, "we're going to catch some mahi here - they love things like this." In the next moment he saw a fish break next to the boat. Then the reel on the rod whirled as it paid out line and the two handlines snapped taut. We landed three 8 to 10 pound mahi, and kept two of them.

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