Wednesday evening was a momentous occasion here on Kika. Supper time was fast approaching and Nick was wondering what to serve up when we heard our fishing line turn the winch it was wound around. 'Fish Drill' then ensued which has been discussed many times before but never actually put into practice. It involves slowing the boat down and getting equipment (buckets, knives, cloths and alcohol) ready. Nick started bringing in the line and sure enough we had managed to catch a beautiful tuna about 45cm long. Apparently, the kindest way to despatch your catch is to lay it flat, cover the eye facing you with a cloth and squirt neat alcohol into its gills. This knocks it out and then the rest is up to you. I felt a mixture of sadness and excitement as I hate to see anything suffer (don't we all?), but on the other hand, I really fancied some fish to spice up our menus.
We have been enjoying it ever since and so far have had it seared with mashed potato, raw with wasabi and soy sauce, and baked with pesto. It certainly didn't die in vain! Our success with the fishing is due to advice gleaned from a truly international group. We have used tips from our Austrian, Kiwi, German, Dutch, American and French fellow cruisers and hopefully, we have now established a foolproof fishing system. We still have one tuna steak left for lunch today and after that, the fishing line will be deployed once again in the hope of fresh fish during our stay in the Galapagos.
For the past two evenings we have been joined on our journey by a couple of chattering seabirds. Not sure what they are as it's always dark when they arrive but it's nice to see their silhouettes in the moonlight and hear their 'talk'. It's a sound I've never heard from a bird before, a sort of tutting - it sounds like they're are scolding one another (or perhaps us!) I was also accompanied by a few dolphins tonight who startled me with their noisy blowing. It's always an unexpected but very welcome sound because you know you're in for some fun when you hear it and it really takes the edge of the solitariness of a night watch.
Not long now until we cross the equator. Should happen some time within the next 24 hours and we have a ceremony to perform for King Neptune! This customarily involves those who have 'crossed the line' before (aka shellbacks) ridiculing and humiliating those who haven't (polliwogs). We're all polliwogs here though (Kika included) so we shall have to be inventive!
Position @ 0200 (0700 UTC): N01°13' W86°46'
Distance to go: 213nm