Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wahoo! Smooches! Over-confidence!

We always find it a good omen to catch a nice fish when we're heading out on a long trip. So on the day we left Townsville, starting the long trek to Tasmania, we were very pleased to pull in our first-ever wahoo.

One of these days we have to get a picture of Elias' reaction when we land a big pelagic fish - you've never seen such pure excitement.

As I started filleting, Alisa said, "I wish I'd bought a new pressure cooker in Townsville." Pressure cookers allow us to can fish, but ours gave up the ghost somewhere on the Pacific crossing last year.

Meanwhile, I was thinking of all the people out there who would love to go fishing for wahoo, while I was the one doing it, even though fishing has always bored me.

We made some other sailors very happy at our anchorage that night when we came over with fish meat to share.

In Townsville we got a fancy new inflatable to replace our nesting hard dinghy that is not aging gracefully. I love it! The new boat is easy to get into the water, so we can have Elias ashore on some delightful beach a half hour after we anchor Pelagic. The nesting dinghy was such a pain to put together and launch that we usually didn't go ashore if we only had an hour or two in hand.

We've named the new dinghy Smooches.

This picture of Smooches on her inaugural water-hauling run was taken in the "Duck Pond", the anchorage in Townsville. The boat in the background is Sacha B, who we dragged down on a day or two after this picture was taken. It was a real lesson. We had never before dragged anchor in the six years we've owned Pelagic, and we had become so used to our 20 kg Spade anchor and heavy chain holding us tight that we (I) got to thinking that we would likely never drag. And then a northwest wind came up and blew steep waves into the Duck Pond, and we only had 50 feet of scope out, so that the motion of our bow jerked the anchor loose from the thin mud bottom. Luckily we were on board and could just motor away and reset the anchor. If Pelagic had been unattended she would have hit Sacha B.
I had been warned (by the owners of Sacha B, as it turns out) about the poor holding in the Duck Pond. We should have had much more chain out. But we were used to getting away without a lot of scope, and we were more concerned with how shallow the anchorage was, and didn't want to swing onto a shallow spot at low tide, and...yadda yadda yadda. We really just didn't anchor properly.

So, we got a very cheap lesson in overconfidence. We've sailed enough miles to feel very comfortable on the water, but the complacency of routine has to be added to the litany of potential traps that are out there.

1 comment:

  1. We know just how you feel, after our little experience at Bowen