We decided to split up the 225 mile run to Bahia Santa Maria with a quick stop in Punta Abreojos, 90 miles south of Turtle Bay. We departed with the rest of the pack on the afternoon of Monday December 15th.
A few hours into the trip, Nate decided to test out the fishing gear that came with Astraea. At about 5pm I noticed the line go taut. “Nate! We caught something!” He ran up from down below and started pulling in the line. He could tell it was a big one, and once it got close we could see the shimmering silver skin. I guessed it was a Tuna based on pictures I’ve seen.
With too much gear in the way on the port side, Nate pulled the fish around to starboard while I got the gaffe hook ready for him. He pierced the fish through the mouth and yanked it up over the lifelines and into the cockpit. Blood went everywhere! I quickly moved cushions out of the way and started clearing out the cockpit getting ready for a big mess, when I heard spraying sound and a slap. I looked about 100 feet off our port bow and saw a whale slapping its fin on the water. A giant tuna and a whale all while the sun was going down!
I got a book out that described how to bleed, gut and filet our catch, and gave Nate step by step instructions. We also called Neil from S/V The Red Thread on the radio to get some pointers. They’ve been fishing their way down the coast from Seattle so they are now semi-pros!
First, Nate bled the fish out for 10 minutes and got blood all over the side decks. Then the sun set as Nate was out in the cockpit in his underwear with a dull knife (should have gotten a filet knife before we left!), hacking away at a fish and getting blood all over himself and the boat. He cut the guts and head off and threw them overboard. Last he cut off 4 large tuna fillets and passed them down for me to cook for dinner while he rinsed the boat off with seawater and took a seawater shower with freshwater rinse.
massacre gutting and fileting was finished, I pan seared the meat with lime, salt and pepper and made some rice on the side. The seas we pretty rolly, so this was a big ordeal in the galley! Everything turned out delicious and we enjoyed our first catch from the sea.
We arrived in Abreojos around noon the next day. We dropped the anchor right outside town even though the rest of our group was further inside the point. We thought we’d go into town to explore, but quickly realized the surf was going to prohibit that. A surf landing on the beach with a two year old is not something we are ready for. We picked up a WiFi signal for a little bit and then decided to move to where everyone else was anchored thinking we might be able to get ashore there.
Once we re-anchored on the other side, Gary from S/V Sea Rover II stopped by. He told us about the surf landing he braved to take his dog ashore, and suggested we stay aboard unless we wanted to get wet. He was in his underpants so we took his word for it!
It was a pretty crappy evening aboard Astraea as Nate worked to find out what was wrong with our macerator. We weren’t able to empty our holding tank that holds all our toilet water. After almost a week in Turtle Bay the tank was nearly full. There ended up being a sediment clog in the inch and a half hose from the holding tank to the macerator. After lots of stinky troubleshooting, Nate was able to pump seawater through the line to break up the clog, and later we were able to empty the tank!
As our friends Glen and Sally say, “Another shitty day in paradise!” Literally! This cruising stuff is not for wimps and it’s definitely not always sunshine and rainbows, but so far, it’s worth it!