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WHAT A HOLIDAY November 28, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

All right, the GPS starts working the next day. Not right away, but maybe 30 seconds later. I did add some more pages used by the MFD. OK. It worked and now the time is not right. I can reset it, and it sets itself back to the default. I never reset the defaults.

Wednesday we left for my son’s home by boat. GPS is working, time is right, all is good. But the wind. It is nice for about an hour and then started to die. The sailing was nice while it lasted. We were low on fuel and the plan was to stop on the way. I had plenty of fuel, but wanted to top off the fuel tank for the winter to stop condensation in the fuel tank. The first place we went to their diesel pump was out of order. No problem, we go by another and there were many others close to where my son lives. Well 3 hours later we get to the next marina. It is closed. Locked up tight as a drum. This is a good size marina with a large high and dry boat storage. Closed a day before a holiday. Made no sense, but it was closed. We called our son and asked where we should go. We did and he showed up with one of his boat to fuel up while we were fueling.

Finished, we left the marina for the anchorage. We went about one third of the way and my engine instruments went screwy. The amp meter quit showing that it was charging when we shifted battery banks. The oil pressure and engine temp showed double what they should. I used my hand held thermometer and found the engine running normal. We went on to the anchorage.

Thanksgiving morning I took the mate to our sons and return to the boat to check wiring. Disconnected wires cleaned and retightened them. Did this from the senders to the gages. I had done this just a few months ago. All the connections were clean and tight. All reading are still double. My electrical gremlins are growing. Time to have a matinee and eat turkey.

My son suggests we go out for Sailfish. That is about 100 miles out. The mate is done with the sea and is not into fishing. Count her out. The daughter in law gets sea sick and has been out that far once to do some kite fishing. Do not think she will do that again. Not her thing. Well it is just the two of us.

The plan was to be at this ledge about 100 miles out at 7 am. When we were auto racing we would get to the track at opening around 6 to 6:30 am. I told him he has to find a hobby that does not start before sunup.

We got out to the ledge at 7 am as planned. I am not a fisherman. I have never been trolling before. I do not know the jargons used in this sport, but I am learning. We put out teasers, also something that is drug below everything, then little fake flying fish that bounce along the top, then 3 or 4 baited lines. Well that ought to get something. You think?

We would then troll back and forth across the ledge. On about the third trip, we get a hit. One would think you just fight the fish and with luck haul him in. No, no, no. We just spent 15 minutes putting all this stuff in the water that should at least snag something. But we are now fighting a fish that we do not want to get tangled in all this stuff in the water.

My son is busy fighting his fish. He is also yelling out orders to get the gear out of the water. I’m sorry, I’m driving the boat. Sooo, drive the boat and real in all the gear. He is telling me which ones to get in by there proper names. What ever they are. About the time I get all this gear reeled in, he is landing the fish. “Get the gaff” he yells. “Gaff it.” I never used a gaff. We swap positions, I take the rod, he takes the gaff. Wham, he gaffs a Wahoo and drags it aboard, while telling me to stay out of the way of this wildly flopping around 3+ feet of very sharp teeth. Well actually a little less then 1 foot are very sharp teeth. 100 miles out is not where you want to be this fish last meal. Into the coffin he goes. See I am learning these jargons. The coffin is a 7’ X 2’ X 2’ deep box in the floor that you put in your fish. It is full of ice to keep your catch fresh. Now it is time to let your pulse slow down and adrenalin wear off.

Ok, that’s enough, we are here to fish. 10 minutes later all the stuff is back out there. I just get the boat back on course crossing the ledge and zing another reel goes off. “Come on get those line in. Crank faster. Come on! Watch where the boat is going. A little more speed. No not that much. Get the gaff back here. Take the rod. Keep him close to the boat.” Wham, another Wahoo is gaffed and flopping on the deck. Did I mention how much blood is being thrown around. While your pulse is slowing down, you have to rinse off the boat. That’s me. I mean someone must get the gear back in the water and I have no clue.

We are making our second run across the ledge when zing goes a reel. I start to reel the gear in and the first rod I reach for, and have one hand on, goes zing. The son is fighting a fish and yells “we have 2 on.” Bring it in as you can and get cranking on all the other gear. Keep pressure on the fish.   At times the lines are very close together and seem to be one fish. It could have happened. There are so many hooks in the water, who knows. We get them close to the boat and realize there are 2 fish. Things got so busy, I do not remember all the details, other then I gaffed my first fish. 2 tunas. Not bad. We are getting slower at getting the gear our.

We do not even get the gear out and zing goes a reel. By the time my son grabs the rod, it is gone. He reels it in and there is nothing but a few feet of leader left. It was big, fast and gone.

We make a couple more runs across the ledge and nothing. I am tired. Could fall asleep, but would fall off the boat. Zing, here we go again. This one is big. He would take off and go where ever he wanted. I actually had time to get in all the gear. I help my son put on this thing that fits over your abdomen and has a rest for the end of the pole. Finally it is close enough to see. It is huge. I take the pole and my son gets a gaff into the fish. He can not lift it over the side of the boat. “Get the other gaff”. That was news, we have another gaff. I get the second gaff in the fish and we pull it in the boat. It is the biggest Wahoo I ever saw. It is over 100 pounds. Off to the coffin for him. He is to big for my son to hold for pictures. Yep, look at my blog. That where the pictures are. I’m thinking world record or at least state record. Nope. Records are in the 200 pound plus range. We just got a young one.

It is 1 pm. We are spent, and my son says he is ready to head for shore. The seas have been 1-2’ all day. We are in a 33’ center counsel boat with 2-250 HP engines. Top end is about 40 kts. We cruise at 36-38 kts. The boat does not come all the way out of the water on the bigger waves, but at times is at least ¾ out of the water. Then, slam, back in the water. I used to be about 5’ 7”. I think I maybe 2” shorter. This has been one of the better days of all.

Saturday was a day of doing some shopping, my son washed the boat and I rested. I had to buy a new battery charger. After around 17 years, it just stopped. Two bad things. It cost a lot of money, and it has nothing to do with my gremlins.

Sunday back to the yacht club. This coming week a regional boat show in St Petersburg. Fun.



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