1952 Hours Tuesday October 28th
Good Evening from Family Circus! We are currently 50 nautical miles off the Mexico Baja Peninsula coast, headed to Bahia Tortuga, or Turtle Bay. To be specific for grandpa Carl, we are at Latitude 28 degrees, 59.8 mins North, and Longitude 115 degrees 58.5 mins West. We are currently running under one engine as the wind has died down and we are making about 8 knots down these swell waves towards our destination. The sun has gone down, a quarter moon is up and Tristan is manning the watch for now.
We've generally had a relatively uneventful trip since leaving San Diego yesterday at 11am under much fanfare. The waves are coming at us from the side and quarter which isnt the worst, but isnt the smoothest either, so we've had several crewmembers wrestling with a bit of sea sickness. We're gaining in experience and know that it can be much worse, so we're rolling along quite well. The seasickness also gets easier on Day 2 as you really do get your "sea legs" over time.
Our San Diego exit was quite an experience as the Baja HaHa rally that we are a part of is 130+ boats strong, and they organized a parade in the morning where San Diego, Coast Guard and Mexican dignitaries, and TV cameras came out on an official parade start boat, and we cruised through between it and two San Diego fire boats that were shooting water in the air. Its quite a rush to be milling around with 130 other boats who are all getting ready for a great adventure. For quite a few, its something they've done before, but for many, including us - its a great moment, as its the realization of something you've thought about or read about for some time (like 20+ years). We had decked out Family Circus in some code flags and our Family Circus flag and seemed to draw a bit more attention than others as the kids were bouncing around on deck and we were dressed in our clown and mermaid costumes.
A special bittersweet moment occured for us as my mom, our Oma, was standing on the sea wall, frantically waving to us. She has been a huge supporter of me and this trip, as well as our family in these last few months of prep. We made a detour to get close to see her and say our final goodbyes before we joined the rest of the boats outside the Bay. We were finally off, but its always a little tough to get going when you have your friends and family behind. We hope to see many of you along the way, and will be back soon!
The wind has been a bummer as it has been absent most of the trip- though the sun has been out in the day. Enough wind finally filled in this afternoon and around 3pm we could pull out our gennaker and shut down the engine. It was a great feeling to be rid of the engine sound and to feel the tug of the wind. While shortlived, it was some fabulous sailing that we had been dreaming about for a while.
We sailed happily along when another awesome moment occured: Double Strike! I looked out behind the boat and could have sworn I saw fish jumping! immediately BOTH our fishing rods started wirring! if I hadnt broken the other reel 2 hours earlier I bet we would have had three fish on. I immediately ran to the pole on the port side that definitely had a fish on it and started reeling. Unfortunately, the breeze had built a bit and we were flying along at 7.5 knots. I called to Lexi and Heather to head up 40 degrees in to the wind to start slowing the boat down, as Tristan ran to the other pole, Kaela grabbed her camera and the little girls started running about.
"We got another fish!" yelled Tristan from the starboard end of the boat and he started trying to work the reel that somehow had gotten stuck. I was reeling like crazy and occasionally saw this sparkling yellow/green and blue Mahi Mahi (Dorado or Dolfin fish)leap out of the water. It was clear that we weren't going to get it in at this speed and I was extra concerned as I had heard a story this morning from one of the other boats that had lost a tuna right as they were about to get it in the boat. I asked Heather to turn on the engines, as one of the prior owners of the boat had suggested, and once started we put them both in reverse to try and slow our progress.
With the boat slowed, and the fish having being dragged for a while, I was able to quickly get it to the stern, and we gaffed and hauled in our largest fish to date- a 9lb Dorado that was 38 inched tip to tail, or 29 inches to the tail. Its colors were so startling and vivid- we were all quite amazed. We didnt have a lot of time to spare though, as we were still dragging another potential meal(s) on the other line!
For those that dont know-we're pretty damn new at this fishing thing - so the fact that the reel had jammed up already didnt come to a complete surprise to me. (I was thinking of Uncle Josh, and a bunch of my coworkers who fish at that time!)I had put some gloves on to help grab the first fish and started pulling the line in hand over hand. As the fish got closer two things became evident: It was more beautiful than the first fish and it was much bigger! Luckily we were able to get it close enough to gaff successfully and get it up on the deck. I have also improved on my ability to end the fish's life and soon we were dragging it behind the boat with a line. We are very thankful that the boat has a deck wash pump that lets us attach a hose to it and either pull fresh or salt water in to the line-it certainly helps with the mess. The kids were fascinated by the fishes colors, fins and tail and watched the filleting carefully. Our new fish record came in at 15lbs and 43 inches tip to tail, or 34 inches to the tail. The photos will have to wait until we get good internet access but hopefully the update is useful as well. We already had a chicken dinner cooking, so the fish will wait until tomorrow - though I will try my hand at sushi right after this blog post.
We still have a lot to learn in catching and filleting fish- but like this whole trip, we're gaining in experience. I certainly know better fishing and filleting questions to ask.
All in all, a great start, and we'll be thankful to get to the beach tomorrow night and have a day off to relax, and homeschool (boo)
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your own adventures! CHRIS
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