Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Back in the heat: fishing with Peter

Back home on Dorado, my sweet tiny floating home! I leave chilly, windy Cape Cod and emerge from JetBlue four hours later to warm & muggy, mild breeze. Low tourist season, so there are no taxis willing to take me on the last leg from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay... and no bus since it is Saturday. After 1.5 hrs of sweating profusely I finally hitch a ride.

My kayak was missing... borrowed... but Peter motored me out and we retrieved it. Both paddles were gone: one stolen and the other borrowed... and sunk. *grumble*. Well, I had a canoe paddle aboard Dorado, so got by until I bought myself new paddles a few days later. No worries.

We had lightning flashing in distant clouds most days and, even better, at night. Beautiful! None of it has passed over us, but plenty within five miles. Beautiful to see the thunderheads lighting up internally at night.

I took a walk over the mountain to Brown Bay to hunt lionfish.... and got ten! Another couple may have died from wounds, but the spear was too dulled by hitting the bottom to fully pierce them. Two days later I returned for the remaining fish and killed three of four (could not find the fourth). I love hunting lionfish: useful and applauded work that helps preserve the health of the reefs! And a very good reason to spend time in the water.

I found a very odd thing in the water being fed upon by a conch and several 3.5" gastropods. It looked like a pile of cream colored knitting, but on close examination is likely a cluster of eggs, probably already hatched. Each is about half the size of a watermelon seed. I placed some in my velcro pocket to bring home, but found it empty when I walked onto shore an hour later: the sample probably floated out when I stowed a cork marker for the lionfish.

Peter invited me over to fish when the last of his mahi mahi got spoiled. He pulled up the largest snapper he had caught on his mooring.... then I pulled in a black tip shark (which we released)... and then a tarpon that leaped twice and shook the hook from its mouth. A fillet of the snapper made a delicious dinner for us an hour later and I cooked the head for a large lunch for myself the next day.

I found upon inspection that one of the chainplates on the aft stays has a hairline crack.
 And when I used it as a pry bar the hairline crack opened up more:
It probably would have broken within the next couple years (even before I carelessly cracked it a bit), so I've ordered new ones. I could have gone to St Thomas and gotten some decent replacements at the cost of $80 each and several hours (or made my own for $80 total), but can get far better ones made up in the states for $110 each and delivered to me. Still a bit tempting to DIY as I like working metal, but the new ones should arrive in a week.

Some new bedding arrived, but is a bit too firm, so have ordered a softer topper. Without good sleep life sucks, so it is worth the time, effort, and $ to get it right! At least the blackout curtains around my cockpit keep the shore lights off me at night so I can watch the beautiful starry night sky when heat makes the cabin uncomfortable.

I climbed the mast yesterday (again) to remove some old rusting steel parts on a spreader and pull a cable that often tangles the sail and seems useless. I scraped bushels of oyster shells from the bottom of the boat. Hatches are leaking as are deck fittings. One LED strip died from moisture condensation or leakage. I AM going to finally tackle the engine, but first need to get the instrument panel fixed and install a coolant overflow tank. My list is endless! Get a sailboat and you will never have nothing to do!

Well, I suppose I will get started.... or take a brief nap and THEN get started.

No comments:

Post a Comment