Monday, 6/8/09 Day 492
Today was just another day offshore, 80 miles from the nearest land. I slept 7 hours, until 8:30, after ending my watch segments. I felt much better after that bit of sleep. I spent the day doing a little skule, watching birds (I'll talk about that in a second), working with fish (more later), reading, etc. I finished Huck Finn last night, and read Zach's Lie, by Roland Smith today. It was a good book (kinda obvious).
As bird watching goes, I spend a considerable amount of time jumping around the cockpit with the binoculars. I saw some seagulls (though not many, being so far out - 50mi.), a couple of shearwaters (Cory's and Greater for sure, maybe other types too), and some Wilson's storm petrels. The storm petrels were cool; little dark-colored birds swooping along over the swells and skittering on top of the water. I've never seen those birds before. The shearwaters (much larger) were cool to watch too. They soar and dive and are wonderful to see. J
Fishing was horribly good today. We had four hits, two fights, and one fish next to the boat. But, we have NO fish in the freezer, fridge, or our bellies!!!! L This morning we got a hit, but nothing came of it. This evening/late afternoon, a pompano dolphin hit. It's funny how all the fish seem to bite our port side line, which is kind of messed up. J L J Anyway, Dad fought this one in with the gimble belt on, and got it right to the boat. He gaffed it, but in a bad place, so he slipped it out to try again. In that time, our fish broke the wire leader and swam off, trailing blood and our lure. Then, the mate swam up, and we were sitting in a school of 7 or 8 pompano dolphin! We dropped another ballyhoo and I raced down and got another pole with a squid lure, but they only nibbled (bite 3). Grrrrrrrr!! L Later, a dolphin fish got on and I fought it, but it flopped, jumped, and spit the hook. That was today's fishing. Bad.
We saw a large loggerhead turtle while fishing. It was huge!! It must have been a loggerhead because it was not a leatherback, but was still BIG. We were able to see it a long way off.
I really can't think of much else that happened. The wind was light,so we had to motorsail or use the spinnaker. We are 24hrs. out of Cape Fear. That's where we are going to go to get out of the way of some storms and to visit some friends. I can't wait to get there!
The Night of 6/8/09
I rested from 6:45 or so to 8:15, and then listened to my MP3 player for another 45min. At 9:00, I joined Dad in the cockpit. He was dead tired, but wouldn't go downstairs because he wanted to let Ma sleep. I convinced him 45 min. later, and the watch changed at 10:00. Mom and I spent a lot of time watching squalls and ships on the radar especially. There were lights with nothing but little radar returns (probably Coast Guard or Navy cutters, cruisers, etc.), ominous clouds, etc. A squall came around 11:15, but all we got was some rain. I went to sleep soon after, pretty tired out.
Tuesday, 6/9/09 Day 493
We arrived in the U.S.A. today! J After 76 hrs. and 490 mi., we arrived in Cape Fear. We motorsailed the whole day into Cape Fear. This morning we landed a 36" Mahi Mahi cow. It was great. We are saving it to eat when we visit our friends in Wrightsville Beach. They are from s/v Eira, but now live on land. We met them cruising last year. They have two boys, Daniel and John, who are our ages. We're looking forward to seeing them.
We pulled into Bald Head Island Marina this evening. Cape Fear is on Bald Head Island, an island not connected to mainland North Carolina. You have to take a ferry to get there. It is a high class island with lots of fancy, big houses, a yacht club, golf courses, neighborhood clubs, nice restaurants, etc. It had a lot of nice American scenery and landscape. It's a nice change from the Bahamas. There are pelicans, crows, ibises, and lots of seagulls, nice sights here. Untropical. I like it (at least for now).
We took long, hot, enjoyable showers for the first time in 6 months. It felt good. We went to Old Baldy Lighthouse, an old one (1817) over on Cape Fear (real close). We walked over, but the lighthouse was closed and you had to pay $5 to get in anyway.
We're leaving mañana for Wrightsville Beach. We're putting the boat in a marina for a week. We need to drive up to New Jersey and my Grandma's for her retirement party. We have cell phone service, so we called a bunch of people. Last time in the U.S., Dad bought a cool new cell phone. It is the Sprint version of an iPhone or Blackberry. It can get e-mail, surf the web, call people, take pics, and more! He's letting me figure out how to use his mini computer. It's cool. So, that's my day. End of day, end of journal.