Really, it’s all sunsets and margaritas…

December 18, 2021

  • 5:00 AM: Wakeup and remember to put on shoes
  • 5:05 AM: Simultaneously catch 8 different lines thrown at me from 4 people while Don drives the boat out of the slip
  • 5:10 AM: Find flashlight and direct Don out of marina away from rocks at entrance since still dark
  • 5:20 AM: Pull up 8 fenders, tie to tramps, bring lines to front of boat, tie them into nice bundles and store out of the way
  • 5:30 AM: Make coffee and remember I forgot to brush my teeth. Make mental note to do so.
  • 6:00 AM: Enjoy magnificent sunrise as we turn from the 12′ tides and swells of Vista Mar Marina, Panama toward the dreaded Punta Mala
  • 6:30 AM: Set up three fishing rods, inspect and select 3 lures (3 different water columns: 12′, 20′ and 30′), and deploy at different lengths from the boat
  • 6:40 AM: Deploy 3 fishing teasers, two squid nation daisy chains and one bowling pin (Lulu)
  • 7:00 AM: Make and eat breakfast (cold pizza from last nights farewell dinner)
  • 7:30 AM-12:00 PM:
    • Raise jib sheet
    • Adjust lure lengths
    • Raise main sail
    • Lose Strike 1 on the hot pink Rapala X-Rap (20′)
    • Switch lures out every two hours until I only have one “hard lure” left, one jet head with blue feather with home made strip bait, and one 4″ cedar plug soaked in Menhaden oil (very, very smelly!) with strip bait
    • Lower and wipe dirty mooring balls with bleach, store them in locker
    • Set up block and tackle to tie rope on fish tails to bleed them directly into the buckets like they do on TV in Wicked Tuna
  • 12:00 PM: Make lunch, eat and take short nap.
  • 12:15 PM: Hear Strike 2 on Fenwick rod, run up without my shoes, pull it in too slowly being concerned that I would lose a toe, and lose the fish. Lower main sail.
  • 1:00 PM Check on Don, relieve him for a short stint, get bored. Check fishing lines, adjust, and wait patiently.
  • 2:00 PM: Watch the birds dive on my lures thinking they are fish, and flying away disappointed. But, birds are good and I know there are fish.
  • 2:30 PM: Watch two Pantropical Spotted dolphins come by, clap for them and enjoy their chasing the boat’s bow
  • 2:40 PM: Strike 3 on pink Rapala X-Rap, Don slows the engines down to make it easier and I reel in a small black skipjack tuna. Don catches it in the net and I kill it with the ice pick.
  • 3:00 PM: Fillet the fish whole without gutting it, throw in the freezer to cool core temp down, and clean up the crime scene.
Filleted and avoided the guts
  • 3:40 PM: Strike 4 on cedar plug, Don slows the engines even more this time, and it’s on my Brand New Shimano Rod/Reel! Several times, I’m sure I lost the fish since it was so easy to reel it in, but its a beautiful 28″ Spanish Mackerel.
    • I go to kill it with the Iki Jimi ice pick, and miss!
    • Ice pick falls overboard, so I pull out the Hurricane aluminum fish bat which is always ready.
    • My aim isn’t great, and this isn’t pretty.
    • Don finishes it off with a well directed hit and the fish shakes blood ALL Over!
He killed it!
  • 4:00-5:00 PM: Clean up crime scene two, much worse, with lots more bleach. Salt water wash the mackerel Don gutted and prepped, put it in the freezer, and move tuna to the fridge. Lower jib sheet.
  • 5:10 PM: Arrive in surfer’s paradise, Playa Venau, Panama.
    • Circle to nearby boat to see how much chain they put down
    • Discuss where to anchor with Don
    • Drop anchor and set bridle
    • Dive on anchor to see how it set. Water is too silty, can’t see the anchor.
    • Shower on deck with the view of Salinas hostel and a lovely new anchorage.
  • 5:45 PM: Pressure cook the black beans that were soaking all day. Wave hello to friends from Shelter Bay who are anchored right next to us (Paola & GianCarlo on SV Gladan). Move mackerel to fridge so it doesn’t freeze.
  • 6:00 PM: Prepare sushi, make tamago egg, slice carrots and cucumber, make wasabi and sushi rice in pressure cooker.
Yummy and fresh
  • 7:00 PM: Tell Don I’m too tired to make the rolls, sit and get fed fresh sushi by my loving husband. Drink a well earned glass of boxed wine.
  • 8:00 PM: Do the dishes, take a stroll around the boat to enjoy the view
  • 9:00 PM: Sailors Midnight: Brush teeth and go to sleep.

3 thoughts on “Really, it’s all sunsets and margaritas…

  1. So accurate! We miss you guys. Happy Holidays and all the best for more SUNSETS and MARGARITAS in 2022. Eric & Bonnie

  2. Nina: a splendid description for those land lubbers who always ask “What do you do all day on an ocean passage”? Suzanne (I navigate,keep watch, get snacks, help with sails, sunbathe, VERY casually fish sometimes and READ, READ and listen to Audio Books and music, communicate with the world via radio.)

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