April 30th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Monika and the fish

An early start yet again – much more of this will kill me, I know.  We called the launch over to pick up John, Barbara, + Eddie, + I went ashore with them to see whether we could buy some diesel, to call another friend of D + M’s to see whether they would like to come out before we finally got away.  Back to the boat, + work again – I assure you boat life isn’t all lying in the sunshine.  In fact, as yet, it hasn’t been that at all.  Their friends arrived + stayed for an hour or so, + then once again I went back with them to purchase the diesel – my last chance of dry land for a while – back to the boat, + then in a short time off we were, into the Big Pacific.  It really wasn’t all that exciting – after 6 weeks waiting, the excitement sort of loses its edge.

Anyway… once we were clear of any immediate hazards, at about 11, Val took the wheel, till about 1, when I took over.  Steering is both easier + harder than with a car.  There’s very little other traffic, + the road is as wide as you want to make it.  On the other hand, you have to keep the  boat to a compass heading, + the blasted thing will keep swinging about.  We kept the engine running all day – we did add a stay sail for a while, but that didn’t really help matters.  We also trailed a fishing line, + much to everyone’s surprise we caught one after about 3 hours, a good-sized tuna.  I burnt my hand trying to stop the line, but it was worth it, since Monika cooked it for supper that night.  Later we caught 2 more, dolphins this time, tho’ one got away right at the end, + one we threw back – we didn’t even have room to put it in the freezer.

Problems late at night, when Dave noticed the mizzen was loose – it ripped the mounting for the back stay right out of the deck, so there was panic for quite a while, Dave rushing round tightening things up.  I took the helm from 7 to 10, + finally came in for some sleep at about 11.  Generally, a good day.

And so, the real thing at last.  Out in the ocean, taking the wheel, catching fish… and then eating it.  All good… except for the mast, of course.

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