Monday, May 05, 2008

May 5, 2008 - To Vanuatu, Day 6

This morning we caught a big mahi-mahi on the trolling rod. It was so big (isn't this how every fish story begins?) that Sten had to put on the fighting belt to land it. He looked pretty silly with nothing on but his Red Sox hat, boxers and the codpiece-like protective belt. The fish fought valiantly, its beautiful turquoise, green and yellow-orange skin flashing just beneath the water's surface. Every few seconds it would break the surface, as it tried to dislodge the hook. Sten got it to the transom, and let it bleed out a bit before bringing it on deck to skin and clean it. We watched the colors of its skin fade to a silvery green as it died. Such a beautiful creature. And such a delicious one. We have plenty to eat for the next few days and will still have some to give to the local chief as a token of our respect when we arrive in Vanuatu.

This evening we experienced a fish story of another kind. I noticed a reddish-brown smear on the bathroom wall, just under the toilet paper roller, and I thought, "Well, that's weird, neither of us is incontinent." Then I looked down, saw what had caused the smear, and started laughing. "Hey, Sten, come back here." He came back to the head. I pointed to the floor and he started laughing too. At our feet was an 8 inch long flying fish, surrounded by the scales it had shed as it thrashed to death on our teak and holly sole. Poor, stupid flying fish. We're used to finding flying fish on the side decks in the morning. They seem to be attracted to our running lights, like moths to a porch light. We'd been having such a light wind day that we had the side ports open in our galley and the head. The fish must have flown in through the 5" x 10" port and bashed itself against the wall as it fell to the floor. What are the odds? We weren't laughing at its demise, but at the incongruity of finding it in our aft head, next to the bath mat.

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