We have changed our night shifts so that I'm on duty from midnight to 3am, then Simon takes over for 3 hours and Alessio has the morning shift. This allows Simon to stay up long enough to watch movies with the rest of us in the Skimpy Cinema which consists of a 40 inch projection image fuelled by a 50 lumen projector running on 12V. It is powerful enough to project twice the size onto the sail on a dark night and we are contemplating to run a paddle-in-cinema on the remote islands of Polynesia, taking admission in the form of coconuts, fish and pearls or possibly just show them porn for free the way the internet intended it.
Not quite sure of the exact placement of time lines we set our clock back an hour whenever the sunset happen too late for cocktail hour. We have reached W117 longitude and change the time zone to Pacific Time (GMT-8).
Müsli with banana and apple for breakfast. The remaining fruit on our banana trunk, Charlene (who started green but turned yellow), is quickly turning from yellow into mushy black. She has served us well for two weeks but all good things come to an end and the trunk is turned over to Poseidon along with the remaining 40 bananas. Very good value for the 10USD we paid on the market in San Cristobal.
After breakfast I finish installing new lights in the cockpit. Simon got some very neat LED light strips that we place under the bimini. When I test it in the mid-day sun it looks like tiny stars shining pale in the distance. At night in the Pacific darkness it lights up the entire cockpit like a factory floor. Fail. I might have to remove some if we are ever again to have a meal outside without having the retinas burned.
Simon prepares one of his random salads for lunch with some of the remaining vegetables: Cabbage, prunes, cucumber, pumpkin. Two weeks after provisioning in Galapagos and we still have fresh produce. Not bad at all.. but it looks like we have to dig out those creative cabbage recipes cause that will very soon be all that's left.
After lunch I prepare some dough for the burgers we plan to make for dinner while the rest of the crew indulges in the first afternoon nap. Just as I get out of the kitchen, the fishing line starts spinning and I run to the fishing pole. I increase the tension on the line and it slows down the drag of the line. As I look up, I see a 1.5m Marlin jump out of the water 100m from the boat. I've never hooked a fish that big and my heart jumps, but before I can even begin to fight it, the tension on the line is gone. The jumps have unhooked it and the Marlin disappears back into the abyss. The whole thing happened in about 15-20 seconds.
When we are sailing we always have two fishing lines trailing the boat. It usually provides a steady supply of fresh fish but lately we have had a string of bad luck and lost several lures to some giant fishes that has caused lines to snap and even pulled a swivel apart on one occasion. We have tried to appease Poseidon with gifts of Rum but we are being mocked by the creatures of the sea. And it's about to get worse.
An hour later we hook another fish and it immediately takes out two hundred meters of line. When Simon increases the tension on the reel, the line snaps. Silence. Then a continuous stream of swearing. Another lure lost. Two minutes later the other line is hit and I manage to stop it just before we run out of line. It's big. The biggest fish I've ever fought. For 5 minutes I'm working hard to keep the tension on the line as I slowly reel it in. My arm is hurting and I have to will myself to keep turning the wheel. Now it's only 5 meters behind the boat. Despite the pressure from above, it manages to stay under water and is constantly seeking down. Simon is on the rear of the boat and ready to grab it, when the hook jumps off.
I'm furious. It feels like losing the game of your life on account of a bad referee. I've never taken much interest in fishing before boarding Skimpy but battling 1 meter MahiMahis is something entirely different from fishing in Denmark. I spend the next 10 minutes walking around the boat then start baking a banana cake. This is certainly not my normal pattern of reaction and I'm not quite sure why I do it. Maybe the sugar will help sweeten the sour feeling of defeat.
Alessio posts a message in a bottle to Poseidon, asking for some consideration for our fishing. Hopefully, the Pacific postal service is more efficient than its counterpart on land. Alas, it is to no avail and before the week is over all lures are lost.
Simon makes an exquisite passion fruit cocktails that we enjoy in the front of the boat while we marvel at the sunset over the neverending ocean. This is the time of day to discuss important matters such as the economic situation of Italy, political implications of China, cocktails, food and women. Solutions have never seemed easier or clearer when staring at the distant horizon not knowing if there is still a world out there to welcome us.
I bake buns for the burger feast while Alessio prepare the meat. After dinner, Simon heads off to bed to get some sleep before his watch and Alessio and I send the message of the day to the Skimpy website using the satphone. We have not been able to get the data connection working on the satphone so the messages are uploaded using the text message function which limits the length of message to about 200 characters. This has turned out to be an interesting restriction and quite a bit of time is spend discussing what the theme of the day should be. Alessio has shown great skills in making short messages with a lofty feel to them where as Simon and I often resort to more informative texts.
I nap on the couch before my night watch and again during the watch. We check the horizon every 15 minutes, but depending on conditions it is sometimes necessary to check more frequent on the sails and course. Nothing much happens on this night in the middle of nowhere. The wind picks up and I furl the genoa a little bit. The wind dies a bit and I let it out again. Just another day on the Pacific.