Friday, February 1, 2008

First good fish! Arrived in Bocas del Toro.

February 1, 2008

09.19.950N, 082.14.814W  
Distance traveled approximately 185NM

We left Shelter Bay Marina around 10:30 on Tuesday morning and sailed overnight to Bluefield.  Enroute Bill caught a 20-lb big-eye tuna with the new rod and reel that Dallas & Jocko had given us.  A big eye is very similar to a yellowfin tuna.  We would never have caught that fish with our "Cuban reel" handlines.  The fish would have just snapped the line or broken the hand reel.  Letting the fish run with the rod and reel made all the difference.  Bill let it run and tire itself out before finally reeling it up to the stern of the boat.  I took in the sails and started the engine while he fought with the fish.  But Bill wouldn't let me put the engine into forward gear because that added more drag with fish fighting.  So the boat was wallowing quite a bit in the 7-ft swell by the time Bill got the fish bled and onboard.  This is the first really good eating fish that we have ever caught.  And it really was delicious. 

We spent one night anchored in Bluefield and then motored on to Bocas del Toro.  Winds were much too light to sail that day.  We got a high water temperature alarm as we were motoring out of the lagoon.   So we turned around and put out the sails.  After awhile the water temp problem seemed to resolve itself, so we turned around again and motored to Bocas.  Nearly went aground on a reef on the entry to the anchorage, but backed off before we hit anything.  Changed approach and entered from the bottom side of the anchorage without a problem.

Brought some of the fresh tuna over to FREE SPIRIT last night and enjoyed a wonderful meal with Paul and Michele.  Michele is a wonderful cook, better than me, believe it or not.  Now we must hurry over to get into Marina Carenero before the tide changes.  We understand that an underground cable has been cut and there will be no internet there, so won't be updating regularly if that is true.  We might leave the boat in that marina and go land exploring for a week or so.  Stay tuned.

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