En route to Suwarrow

Friday August 24th
2:00 P.M. local time
S 15 51
W 161 03
Heading 280 degrees
Winds 5-8 knots
125 miles to go!

We are in our 4th day now of our 4.5 day sail to Suwarrow. We
expect to arrive tomorrow morning (Saturday). Yesterday we had
good wind for most of the day and sailed with our headsails
poled out – averaging about 7 nm per hour for most of the day.
About 4 p.m. a squall came up and brought some rain, followed by
a drop in wind and a change in wind direction and after a couple
of hours of trying unsuccessfully to sail our course, we gave up
and motored for the night. It has not been the windiest sail,
but at least it has been quite comfortable most of the time –
with not much ocean swell at all. We have both been able to
sleep one six hour stretch each day followed by as many catnaps
as possible. Mark is not much of a napper, but I am really
getting good at passing out for an hour or two at any hour of
the day (talented girl that Laura). Today, Friday, we are
continuing to motor since the winds are still extremely light.

Yesterday Mark caught another fish! We aren’t even sure what
kind it was – only what it was not. Being neither a tuna, a
wahoo, or a mahi-mahi- we are guessing it might have been a kind
of mackeral. Anyways it was really delicious – much better than
the tuna we had caught two days before. And this morning I was
awakened at 7:00 a.m. by a loud cry of “Laura – get up – I’ve
got two fish on the lines!”. Mark had just set out the two
fishing lines and within a minute both had been grabbed. One of
them leapt clear out of the water and Mark could see that that
they were large mahi-mahi – the premier fish that you want to
catch out here. Unfortunately the bigger one bit the hook right
off the first line and disappeared. The second fish, however,
was well snagged and Mark managed to reel him in and onto the
boat. It was quite big – maybe 25 or 30 pounds – and was such a
beautiful fish. Once on board he (or she) was still thrasing
around and was very angry and before we could stun him, he
wiggled out of both the gaff hook and the hook in its mouth and
wriggled off the boat. Mark was so disappointed! I was
disappointed, but also kind of relieved because it was such a
beatiful big fish I hated to kill it.
We are looking forward to arriving in Suwarrow tomorrow. It is
supposed to be beautiful and it will be fun to be there with a
flotilla of boats that we know. Although there about 12 boats
we know of that are sailing this route, we are all spaced out
too far from each other to really communicate except by the SSB
(single side-band radio), and we are doing a check in twice a
day. We have ended up sailing very close to another boat named
Nadezka on the whole route. We have never met them in person,
but since we are only about 20 miles from each other at sea, we
are able to talk on the VHF radio at any time. It has been fun
checking in with them a few times – they even called us
yesterday to give us a heads up on the squall coming through –
as it passed by them before it reached us. They said that there
was a 200 foot fishing boat just a few miles from them which was
quite a surprise as we have seen no commercial boats of any kind
out here.

All is well here.