Of course, the next day was glorious weather inshore, but we kept looking at the offshore wind and wave reports and telling ourselves we made the right decision. It’s so hard not to second guess yourself when it comes to the weather! We didn’t pout, but rather, put the dinghy in and enjoyed a champagne cruise on Little Creek. After a late afternoon nap, we briefly attended a Jimmy Buffett “Not-Quite-Live” concert that Paul from Parrot’s Nest was putting on at the other end of the pier (learning a lot about how to grill oysters and steam clams on the grill in the process). We had our leis and grass skirts; never go anywhere without them in the closet, actually!! I love having our clothes along when we come across an event like that. On our way back down the pier to the boat for beverage reinforcements, however, we stopped to talk with Maria and Jorgen Lindquist off Querincia, a Catalina 44 sailboat. Maria's Irish and Jorgen's Swedish, and after being invited aboard, we ended up chatting the night away with them, first aboard their boat, and then aboard Equinox. They are fun folks; they’re looking to spend the winter aboard in the Exumas, so we will be sure to look them up. We never did make it back for the concert, unfortunately!
Our Slip in Bay Point Marina, Norfolk, Va
Some of the scenery from our dinghy cruise. Really like the classsic houseboat, listing to starboard....
The next morning, Ron was up before me, already checking the latest weather reports. Judging from what he saw, we now had a window of opportunity to head out. I looked at the charts with him, poured over the Bermuda weather forecasts and NOAA offshore predictions for wind and wave heights…and agreed. We topped off the fuel tanks and headed out of the Little Creek inlet around 1100. We called various folks with the float plan, and thus…here we are….just cruising along in lovely following seas of 1-2’, and a light wind behind us. There are some southeasterly swells to make it truly oceanic, but Equinox is just purring along and we are enjoying a fabulous first day at sea. It really doesn’t get much better than this….it’s a tad cloudy, but that’s okay. We had a light dinner of broiled tilapia, broccoli and tomato-cucumber-olive-avocado salad, and soon, we will start the night watches. Tonight I’m doing 8-12, Ron will do 12-4, and then I’ll be back at it again for the dawn watch. We used the satellite link to check the latest weather, and so far, this should continue throughout the night. We will encounter larger seas, but it looks like we timed this right! The ETA into Bermuda is on July 1st, about 10 in the morning. Can’t wait to see Allison again!! Miss HER!!
Ron’s putting out the fishing lines in hopes of catching some late dinner, AND…as I wrote that last sentence, he started hollering “FISH ON!! AND IT’S A BIG ONE!!” Certainly was!! Just as he was bringing in the line to give up, something hit it, and I slowed the boat, disengaging the stabilizers. He’d hooked a large yellowfin tuna, and was reeling it in hard. I grabbed my lone crabber’s glove (only have the left one, donated by a crabber on Fairlee Creek, who said he only needed the right one) and with the gaff in my other hand went out on the transom to wait for the fish to be close enough. I gaffed it once, but it got off and started taking off again, so Ron had to scramble to re-reel it in. (The fish almost took the rod with it, as Ron had set it down to help me, post-gaff.) The leader is way too long on that reel too, which made it difficult to deal with the overhang on the back deck, so we couldn’t get the line any closer than what the leader would allow. Finally, using the waves and the fish’s own motion, it came close enough to the surface for me to grab the line with my left (gloved) hand and gaff it with my right and bring it through the transom door. HUGE!! Approximately 45 inches long, we couldn’t lift it alone; both us of had to heave it into the cooler together. It had to weigh over 60 lbs, and that’s not an exaggeration. My hurried photo doesn’t do it justice, but that cooler is 40 inches long, and the you can see the tail curling up at the end of the cooler.
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