18 August 1997

(Part of my Gone Fishing story)

Monday, 18 August 1997

Day 31 at Sea

1120 hours SAMOAN TIME (Pacific Time minus four hours)

Location: 0°40’S 160°51’W

In the last two days, we were joined by two more boats, the Taimane (a StarKist boat), and the Legacy D. Just a genuine party here in the middle of nowhere.

Yesterday morning, the cook rang the bell at 0445 hours. At first I thought I slept through my alarm, and it was around 0530, but no, apparently there was a school of tuna that decided to spend the night below us, so we made a set around them.

On the sonar, the spot looked large. But either it was all bait fish, or most got away, because we only got around 10 ton. Nice large tuna. Very beautiful fish. We made one more set, but it was a skunk, along with another skunk this morning. We did get two swordfish in our set this morning. One rather large one about ten feet long, and a baby about four feet. Dinner tonight will be very tasty indeed.

Ran out of gas for the helicopter yesterday. 130 hours of flight time is all we got. The fuel pickup in the 1500-gallon avgas tank is in the front, while the rest of the fuel is in the rear (approximately 200 gallons) due to the aft low attitude the boat has taken. We are working on rigging up a fuel pickup to put in the aft of the tank so we can have a few more hours of flight.

R22 (4)

The Auro’s R22 Mariner completely bundled up when not flying

The last two and one-half days have been spent in the same basic area, with now five boats all relatively close together. Radio communication between the boats has been fairly jovial, to say the least. You get five captains that know each other, three that are related, and the bullshit really flies. They at least cooperate with one another, telling each other where the fish are.

I guess the powers to be have decided that the fish will not be cooperative, so all five boats are caravanning farther eastward.

Next Entry – 27 August 1997 Part I
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