Almost Halfway

First Mahi Mahi of the trip
First Mahi Mahi of the trip

By tomorrow morning, if all continues to go well, we will cross the halfway point of our passage to the Marquesas. We are 10 days and almost 1,500 miles out from our last port. We have been sailing a route closer to the equator than the rhumb line, or shortest distance between ports, to take advantage of the slightly stronger favorable current here and also the fact that the wind is closer to abeam. The last detail is important because this boat has only working sails and does not even carry a whisker or spinnaker pole for downwind work, which makes sailing on any course deeper than a broad reach a slow, noisy proposition as the sails slat and bang with each passing wave. We have the mainsail cranked down tight with a preventer, but there is little to be done for the genoa once it is blanketed by the mainsail, save for furling it. The engine mounts are still holding together. The cause of the extra vibration that I had mentioned in my last post was due to the boat owner starting and running the engine in reverse when charging the batteries. Because of friction in the shift cable, he was having a difficult time finding neutral, an easy mistake to make. I showed him how to double-check for neutral before starting, so hopefully the problem is solved. We caught a nice mahi mahi several days ago, so everyone has been eating plenty of fish. We just finished up the last of it yesterday, so the fishing lines can go back in again. I don’t like to risk catching more than we can eat, to avoid needless waste. Hopefully we will get a quick strike again when we want one. When I threw the lure in the last time, the fish was on before I could let out ten meters of line. That certainly made it easier reeling him in, which I especially appreciated due to the fact that we have only hand lines aboard. Landing the fish on the swim platform was very easy and made me think about how much more difficult it would be to haul a fish up onto my own boat. I have no alternative but to land fish in the cockpit or on the side deck. It is encouraging to see the little string of “X”‘s, our noon positions, keep stretching farther westward across the chart…

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