Day 12. Pelagic Visitations and Good Vibrations

By Spencer

Dreams of migrating whales and pelagic fish filled my thoughts prior to embarking on this sea voyage across the South Pacific. To my surprise we have hardly seen any life at all! Every day we see a plethora of flying fish, some which leap towards the cerulean sky and end up hitching a ride aboard Aldebaran. Blue and Brown footed Boobies circle the trimaran every few hours and very occasionally we find a squid or two on deck, however no other life has been spotted other than the occasional cargo ship in the distance.

….Well today was a completely different story. Our slowest day of passage yet, cruising around 3 knots, the whole ocean seemed to have taken the day off. As I was trying to decipher which day of the week it was, we heard the zing of the fishing line. With Kristian working the reel and Sabrina poised with the net we landed a beautiful 9 pound yellow fin tuna on our starboard aft deck, it was our third fish in the two weeks underway! We hooked up using “Cami” our affectionately named “CA Lure” brand trolling feather. Not moments after bringing the catch aboard, Sabby the Salty Cruising Fisherwoman produced four expertly carved fillets for us to put on ice.

If you have ever filleted a fish you know it can be quite tricky and often very messy, Sabrina finished the job in record time with a smile on her face, her feet and the deck covered in a sanguine tint. Realizing we had left a pretty smelly trail of fish astern of us, we decided it would be a good opportunity to do some site seeing for our afternoon entertainment. We strung the remainder of the catch onto a long piece of hemp line and let it “swim” a few meters astern hoping to attract something exciting…

Just before tea time as I was engulfed in studying my celestial navigation book Beadle exclaimed Holy Guacamole theres a Hammerhead! The four of us practically flew to the aft deck to watch the majestic shark swimming thru the clear, lapis lazuli colored water investigating the tasty morsel we were flaunting. The shark seemed a bit timid, probably because the fish was so close to our hull; we decided to extend the line. Paying the fish out another 10 meters caused the tuna to swim erratically just like an injured fish twirling and fluttering at the surface. This commotion was attractive to our stalker the Great Hammerhead who appeared to be around 10-12’ long.

Pelagic sharks like this one are known to be extremely dangerous due to their hunting habits. A shark swimming through open ocean doesn’t get to be picky about its meals and therefore will strike first and decide whether or not the meal is worth eating after. We kept this in mind as we sat on the stern trying to catch a good angle for filming our visitor just a few yards away.

Four or five times the Hammerhead stalked from a few swells back, darted in close and then thrashed violently just feet away from our hookless lure. Interestingly enough this shark must have been a picky eater because even with some manipulation of the line to help entice the predator, he swam off without even a tiny taster….. Bummer! It would have been epic to see this beautiful creature feed.

The rest of the afternoon graced us with more fair weather. Sabrina and I made fresh sushi rolls for dinner and I attempted to recreate the Poke Tuna Ball I love to order from East Beach Tacos in S.B.. My attempt turned out to be delish albeit a bit of a sticky mess. I think next time I’ll leave that one for take out. 😉

0900hrs. April 21, 2017
S 17 02 W 110 53
Distance last 24hrs: 104nm
Distance to Ducie: 901nm
Wind: 8-10kts ENE with a few spurts to 12kts.
Course: 240 degrees

3 thoughts on “Day 12. Pelagic Visitations and Good Vibrations

  1. Great. Love picture of hammerhead shark. Glad he didn’t decide to have one of you for tea.

    Happy sailing.

  2. Hello All!

    I just caught up on your blog entries since leaving the Galapagos. Great stuff! I laughed my ass off many times! Keep up the good attitude and can’t wait to catch up in a couple of months! Thinking of you guys everyday as you sail along…

  3. Salty Cruising Fisherwoman Expert… I’m so proud of you, Sabrina! missing your blogs, very funny…
    Must have been awesome to watch this HUGE hammerhead so close to the boat, amazing photo, scaryyyy! do you guys stop for a swim along the route????

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