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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fish In the Locker - Rock Sound

It was only a quick stay at Norman's Cay, just staging for a fishing trip across the Exuma Sound. We were up well before sunrise, grabbed a new grib and saw that winds are forecast to be light and variable for the next few days. It was tempting to stay around Norman's and do day fishing trips, but we do have a commitment coming up in Hatchet Bay. Plus, light and variable usually means squalls. At any rate, we figured if we were skunked in the few first hours, we might head back. But that was not the case. We caught two mahi mahi within two hours. Both females. One almost 41 inches and the other just over 44 inches. At the risk of appearing greedy, we considered going back to that area before continuing our crossing. We were worried that Pilgrim was not catching anything, their fish locker was an empty as ours. Even though we got hits on the lures, those two catches were on pre-rigged ballyhoo. It seems they are a sure bet for fish - just never know which fish.

Then we changed out the pink and black skirt lure for a tuna plug. We got another good hit on the third ballyhoo, but lost whatever took it. The ballyhoo was too mangled to be inviting, so we were down to lures only, a red and white tuna plug and a black and purple skirt. By now we were sailing a very tight reach with reefed main and jib and doing over six knots. A very nice day by any means.

As we approached Cape Eleuthera, our winds diminished and our speed was under five knots. It was easy enough to set up the water maker, and run the engine to help us be in time to make the incoming tide. I went back to check the tuna plug for trash or grass. While I was reeling it in it saw some action around the lures. I have seen that before. It is as if the fish is running with the lures, maybe contemplating. Then when I pull one in, it seems to trigger a take it or leave it response. We had a big hit on the black and purple, taking quite a bit of line out. After we both spent time working the reel, we pulled aboard a fine specimen of a male mahi mahi. He was just shy of 55 inches. Quite a fighter as well.

We are thrilled to have so much fish on board because we wanted to share with Pilgrim if they came up empty handed. We will find another beneficiary though because when we checked in with them, they had two fish on board. A banner day for both of us! I think it best if I freeze some fish for our Bahamian friends in Hatchet Bay.

It took over an hour to clean up the decks. There is still blood on the side of the boat, but that clean up will have to wait until we have the dinghy in the water, which is not happening today. We are worn out. We got our Hollywood showers (long and hot, since we made water today) and all I have left to do is figure out how I want to cook the fish for dinner. If I can stay awake that long. I doubt I will last much after sunset.

There are a bunch of boats new to this anchorage. We look forward to meeting more new people.

Love to all,
Dena

{GMST}24°52.31'N|076°09.91'W|3/15/2015|4:41 PM{GEND}

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