10 May 2011 | from Dry Tortugas
May 10, 2011
The adrenaline was flowing this morning! Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 Tom and Wally reeled in the mother load of fish J !! Between the 3 lines out they caught a Tuna, a Wahoo, 3 Bonita, a Spanish Mackerel and had several lines broken off the 80 lb. test fishing line. Tom said one time they had, "fish on" all 3 lines at the same time! We are going to have a massive fish cook out in the near future! Friends & family are invited!!
Right now we are headed just north of Tampa to Tarpon Springs. It's about 1:00 pm and we should arrive tomorrow night (Wednesday). We are managing this morning without the help of much wind. Both sails are up and close hauled (tucked in close) and one of the two engines spinning away.
We sailed yesterday from Key West to the Dry Tortuga (about 60 miles; took us about 9 hours). The Dry Tortugas are the southern most point in the U.S. and consist of several flat sand bars or very small islands; one of which houses a bird sanctuary, another Fort Jefferson and another a beautiful lighthouse. They are not inhabited by humans except for a few park rangers living at Fort Jefferson.
We arrived around 5:00 p.m. yesterday and anchored a few hundred yards from Fort Jefferson. We took the dinghy ashore docking in the sand to the left of the sign,
" < dinghys and seaplanes > ." (those are actually arrows on the sign) The three of us toured the old fort, about 175 years old and surrounded by a moat and drawbridge! No alligators though, just turtles and big Parrot Fish that I could see.
In between reeling in fish this morning, Tom and Wally had the pleasure of a couple dozen dolphin swimming along with the boat and playing in the water. (I slept in this morning, again). I guess they were aware the fishing was good here too. And today at lunch we had a group of small pelican-like birds flying just overhead. Tom said, "maybe the fish are gonna start biting again." But I told him, "Honey, I think it 's your sardines." Oh yeah, that could be it, Tom said.
Some people live aboard and develop a taste for rum, some the magnificent ocean and others.... well, sardines. This hasn't been mentioned before, maybe I was trying to block it out or just wanted to remain in deep denial, but Tom loves them! He loves sardines and has been eating them with crackers since we arrived here in January. I can't complain about the size of our boat, but during sardine time and especially when he puts the finished container in the garbage... well, the boat shrinks to the size of a rowboat.
It's my watch at the moment. Wally has returned to his cabin for a siesta and Tom is stretched across the couch with Lexie at one end and Beetlejuice at the other. The gentle rock of the boat and the solitude will relax even the most high strung of us living beings.
Before I close it warrants mentioning that Lexie scored another point in the low score wins game of, "Unintentionally Falling Overboard." Two days ago in Key West at the fuel dock Lexie attempted the jump from back step to dock. Obviously misjudging the the clearance she landed in between the two and then proceeded to swim under the dock. The salt water must have gotten in her eyes and ears because she was unresponsive to Tom's calls to come to him. Finally, she regained her senses and was saved by the scoop of Tom's arm. J