Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sail to Ha'apai and catching fish!!

It took us 19 hours to sail down to Ha’apai from Vava’u, and it’s only about 70 miles (even less because we left from one of the more southern anchorages), but it was pretty much right on the nose the whole way. That didn’t matter, because it was still a lovely sail, about 5-10 knots southerly, moon and sunshine and not much sea. As we neared our destination we have to give in and motor the last couple of hours, otherwise we wouldn’t have made it in day light. Sala left at the same time, but they motored almost the whole way, so beat us by 4 hours.

We’re going to be sailing around here in Ha’apai with Sala (Dan and Helen, Kiwi and Scott, both our age), as they decided to join us and it will be fun to try buddy boating. Also, their SSB doesn’t work, so they can get weather from us via our sat phone. There are not as many boats down here as in Vava’u, and also not cruisers’ net in the morning.

Back to our sail down here: we finally caught fish!!! We have been trolling almost all the time when we go anywhere, but so far with no luck. But yesterday, the tuna were practically fighting to be the first one on our hook! Phil initially got a small (30 cm) yellow fin (we think) tuna, and after photographing, killing and filleting it (took at least 15 minutes), threw out another hook and instantly (as soon as the lure hit the water), had another one! We could see a whole lot of them circling around the back of Sophia and we got some good videos of it too, while Phil teased them with the lure. We threw a couple back out (one we caught wasn’t yellow like the other, we’re not sure what that was), but all up kept three tunas. Some was turned into ceviche (raw fish marinaded in lemon, flash backs to Chile) and Poisson Cru (raw fish marinaded in coconut cream (which I made from scratch, putting canned coconut cream to shame), Sala got some for their dinner and we still got some left. 

Last subject is pretty gross, so this is your warning in case you’re eating or even just if you’re squirmish.  It’s all part of our cruising experience, so here it goes.

I knew we have to watch for food scraps in our garbage, so we clean everything before throwing it away and throw food stuff overboard. However, in Neiafu  I didn’t want to throw food (veggie peelings etc) overboard, so kept it in a small bin for when we left the harbour. However, on our 5th and last day in Neiafu we woke up with maggots crawling all over the floor!! Arghhh, extremely gross and disgusting. We hunted them all down and looked everywhere else (luckily they didn’t seem to be able to or want to go up onto the squabs, phew) and did a lot of cleaning. Of course they traced back the food scrap bin. From now on ALL food related stuff goes directly overboard!!!

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