Day 241, Year 6 Passage to Cape Cod, Day 5-Yellowfin Tuna!!!
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 4:30 pm
Weather: Partly Cloudy Early; Overcast with Rain Late Afternoon
Wind: SW 14-16 Knots
Latitude: 40 04.860 N
Longitude: 071 48.502 W
Location: Offshore New Jersey/New York–South of Long Island
Miles Traveled: 578 (67 miles to Block Island)
Rex reeled in a beautiful, BIG yellowfin tuna this afternoon. Rex has been out on deep sea fishing trips and friends caught a barracuda while he was with them in the Bahamas, but he has never had the thrill of fighting a fish. Rex and I were standing on the bow on lookout for one of the many fishing buoys with radar reflectors attached that we were passing. We had the CD player blaring Jimmy Buffet but all of a sudden I heard something like a scream. Rex and I thought it was either the music or a bird, but neither seemed plausible to me. After five or ten minutes, I suddenly realized that it was probably the fishing reel paying out line that I had heard, so we rushed back to the aft end of the boat to check. Yep-that was it. Mark had been down taking a shower and got up just in time to help us figure out which thing to switch on the fishing reel to try and bring the apparent fish in. He was struggling as “whatever” was still fighting, so Rex took over and after a good fight, he got the fish close enough for Mark to use the gaff hook to bring it in. It was obviously a tuna and when we saw the bright yellow fins and compared it to our fish chart, it became obvious that it was a yellowfin. In Hawaii they call yellowfin “ahi” which means fire, and the fins on this big baby looked like flickering fire. The fish was over two and half feet in length and we’re not sure how heavy, but it was heftier than any yellowfin Mark caught in Chagos. Rex is not a sushi lover, so we froze most of the filets and kept back just enough to have blackened tuna tonight. We’ll have sushi Friday night when we reach Woods Hole. So Heather and Jed (and Sam), if you are reading this, get ready for sushi! I’m saying Friday night because we made a decision this afternoon to make a stop at Block Island tomorrow. BUT if this rainy, foggy, yucky weather that we are currently experiencing continues into the morning, we might change direction and head straight for Woods Hole tomorrow. If we can’t make it all the way, we’ll stop somewhere in the Elizabeth Islands tomorrow night and be in Woods Hole on Friday. The weather will dictate our decision.
As par for the course, the wind has changed since I started writing this log at 4:30 pm. We now have 18-22 knots of wind, still from the south and for the first time since just before midnight on Monday night, we are sailing. The seas are calm so we are sailing along with just the full main sail out and managing to go 6 knots. But the winds are building, so who knows what the night will bring. And if we keep going this fast, we’ll have to head for Woods Hole as we would arrive at Block Island during the night.