(Underway, 169 Nautical Miles)
As far as crossing days go, today was a Grade A, next level, out of the ballpark kind of day.
I woke after my last shift of sleeping to find Greg thoroughly inspired in the fishing lure department. He had modified a wooden plug – on hand for emergency through-hull blow outs – into the body of a fishing lure and outfitted it with skirts made out of shiny, recycled coffee bags. The result was a fine-looking fishing lure and a successful one at that! During its maiden voyage on one of the trolling rods it hooked a fish that regrettably got away before we could reel it in.
Another advance in Oceanna’s fishing tactics was the implementation of a high-tech, one-of-a-kind notification system for triggered handlines. After much deliberation – because let’s be honest, we have more than enough time to spend on such matters – we developed a plan using old pop cans and a piece of string. Tied in series between each of the three handlines, if any of the hooks had a hit, their line would pop off the open catch, causing the slacked portion of line to stretch out, triggering the alarm system. The sound of crashing aluminum cans could only mean one thing – fish on!
Once the system was in place, as if one cue, a wahoo struck one of the lines filling the cockpit with the sweet sound of clattering cans. I never imagined myself as the type of girl to talk about the beauty of a fish, but not doing so would be an insult to this fish’s existence. Its long slender body was covered in stripes reminiscent of the far off African plains. If someone told me this guy was distantly related to a tiger, or maybe even a zebra, I’d have a hard time not believing it.
The day’s defining moment came when Greg spotted a spray of water erupting into the sky off the back of the boat. He yelled, directing my attention, in time for us both to watch the dark, sizeable tail of an unmistakable whale breech out of the water and disappear back into its depths. This had us so amped up that we ran out of the cockpit, to the top of the salon roof, to gain a higher vantage point to watch the receding whale. We only spotted its telltale blowhole spray a couple more times before it disappeared entirely. It was from this position though that we were scanning the waters for anymore life, when I saw a massive disturbance 100 meters off our port side. As we processed what we were seeing we realized that it was a pod of enormous sperm whales. Though they displayed no aerial acrobatics, their sheer size and unbelievable presence in our 41 foot world was beyond thrilling. Watching as their bulk of colossal, rolling bodies travelled away in the opposite direction was nothing short of sensational.