Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gone Fishing

This year the water clarity in the northern sea was unusually poor so the spear fishing wasn’t particularly fun or productive.  Fortunately we were able to pick up the slack with many hours of intensive dinghy trolling.  With Trisha playing the pole and me driving, we catch a lot of fish.  Most of the fish we eat are in the cabrilla or sea bass family including grouper, sand bass and panama graysby.  Occasionally, we stumble upon a school of fish known as firecracker yellow tail wich are excellent served raw as sashimi or in poki.  Later in the summer, we were catching Sierra and this quickly became one of our favorites.  Once in a while we have a day on the water that yields a good fish story.

(Photo courtesy of Harmony)
One day we were out trolling and Trisha got a BIG hit.  The fish took off and the fishing line was screaming off of reel at an incredible speed.  She handed the pole to me and I slowed flow of the line by gently squeezing it against the pole with my hand.  With the line now paying out at a crawl, the fish was towing our dinghy at an impressive pace.  I killed the outboard motor and let the fish expend its energy.  There was just a little line left on the reel so I started pumping the pole: pulling up and reeling line in on the way down.  After several minutes I had recovered nearly all of the line and we were anxiously looking into the water for this monster fish.  When the exhausted fish surfaced we were disappointed to see that it was a Crevalle Jack (best used as pet food).  Anyway, by my estimate the fish was a good four feet long.  Trisha agrees that it was longer than three feet.  I removed the hook with a pair of pliers and the fish slowly headed to the bottom, hopefully recovering to fight another day.
I forgot to take a picture of the fish but
here is the yield of a good day's fishing for Sierra.
A couple of weeks later we hooked another big fish trolling in the dinghy.  This time it was a Dorado (known as Mahi Mahi on a restaurant menu).  After Trisha hooked it, it took off and jumped clean out of the water four different times during the fight.  Since we do not have a net, we had to get a little creative with the landing – we don't need a flopping fish snagging our inflatable boat with one of the hooks in its mouth.  Trisha slowly drove the dinghy to a nearby beach while I played the fish.  Once on the beach I jumped out of the dinghy and continued the fight from shore.  Once the fish was reeled into about a foot of water I gave the pole a big heave and pulled it way up onto the cobble beach.  The unhappy fish was flopping around wildly, so I picked up a softball sized rock and slammed it in the head.  It wasn't pretty, but it worked.  The Dorado was about three feet long, not as large as the jack but very edible.  With no freezer available, we enjoyed four Dorado meals over three days.  We also got a little sick of fish.

Derrick holding up Trisha's Dorado...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Our third summer in the Northern Sea of Cortez (picture time)

Just a quick wrap up (in pictures) of our summer in Bahia de los Angeles.  This year was more challenging with more heat and humidity and a direct hit from Hurricane Odile (downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it got to Puerto Don Juan). 

This is what it's all about.  Lunasea sailing to El Quemado
with Isla Angel de la Guardia in the background.
This was our "year of hiking" and I'm taking a deserved rest.
Isla el Pescador in Bahia de las Animas.
Three of us in el Quemado (Interabang is on the far right).
Another hike break.
Derrick is a friend to the birds, once again.  This fellow hung out on
our boat for an afternoon and then flew off.
We hiked from Los Rocas to the East anchorage on Isla (Smith) Coronado.
Boats at anchor in Puerto Don Juan, two days after Odile passed through.
What to do after the storms passes?  DINGHY RAFT-UP!!!
(photo borrowed from Del Viento)
Eleanor of Del Viento is having more fun in the water
during the raft-up in Puerto Don Juan
Ray of Sea Note sharing some words of wisdom.
This ray is jumping for joy (?)
The fleet anchored at La Gringa for the Full Moon Party
Fun with noodles while floating down the estuary at La Gringa.
(Picture courtesy of Harmony)
Terry and Diane of Harmony enjoy their floaties.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
(Picture courtesy of Harmony)