Tuesday, March 6, 2012

T-peckers and Papagallos

At 0725 we departed Huatulco knowing that we had 48 hours to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec before a 50-knot T-pecker struck. 15 miles from shore we ran into the black flags which fishermen use to mark the end of their baits.......sure enough we soon had to disentangle our starboard stabilizer fin from a long line of hooks. At night time we are using the shrimp-fisher watch cycle; 1 has 06-10, 18-20, 00-02; 2 has 10-14, 20-22, 02-04; 3 has 14-18, 22-24, 04-06 - the night watches zip by. At the end of Day 2 we were out of the T-pecker track unscathed and steady on our course of 120 which takes us some 100 miles offshore along the Central American isthmus passing Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras. Day 3 we had a line out all day with a variety of lures; at 1700 it went off at a hell of a rate, nearly spooled. And nothing jumping out there so that eliminates sails, marlin, dorado, wahoo. 15 minutes later we were delighted to find that we had surgically removed from the hands of mother nature one 25lb yellowfin tuna........the sashimi was excellent and now there are plenty of steaks in the freezer. The next wind gauntlet on this trip is the Gulf of Papagallo - easterlies from the Caribbean gain force over Nicaragua. Last night we had a 30 knot session between 2200 and 0400; there will be more to come probably before we close with the coast of Costa Rica. And we have current which has slowed us a bit; however by the start of Day 5 we are half way to Panama. And we are still running on our forward fuel tanks - Bernie has been running a test on fuel consumption - more later.

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