Day 18. Yesterday was a bit of a milestone for as as we crossed the equator into the southern hemisphere and we enter another phase of the journey, that of light winds. We have had everything so far: perfect conditions, downwind sailing, upwind sailing, sailing in gales, squalls and now we have the light wind section. It is a little frustrating, sometimes enough wind to make good speed in the right direction and then it changes to poor speed in the wrong direction. Difficult choices then have to be made, do we sail on in the slightly wrong direction or do we pull everything down and drift? Either way this section is probably going to be the longest in time, possibly 10 days or more to cover the final 750 miles.
Jude was on the helm yesterday and I was lying down in the cockpit looking at our trail. I decided to change the fishing lure which had been on the line for over a week with no success. I put on the Mexican Flag lure, known to be effective and then sat back and watched it skip across the surface. Within a couple of minutes I thought I saw a black fin come up behind it and then drop down again, then it came up again. Clearly something was stalking the lure. I thought it was a tuna and went to the rod and eased it forward and then dropped the line back in a hope to drop it back into the mouth of the fish. Sure enough the fish took the bait. Well did that real scream or what as the line went out at a blistering rate. I put some more torque on the reel to slow the line going out but still it went and then the fish, which I knew was big, leapt out of the water, it was a Marlin and probably 200-300 lbs if not more. It leapt into the air several times trying to dislodge the hook. I had no chance. This rod was my Alaskan salmon rod with 80 test line and it snapped the second time the Marlin performed its aerobatics. We watched the Marlin continue to leap into the air clearly relieved that it had escaped and to be honest so was I. Yes it would have been nice to have some fresh Marlin but there is no way we could have eaten or stored all of it and it would have been interesting getting a fish of that size onboard. Fun all the same.