Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Water Spout (Tornado on the water) and Black Marlin

April 13, 2010
Position: 13°18 N 089°25 W 10:45AM local
Sailing along the Northern coast of El Salvador
Miles Sailed year to date: 2529
Day: 1687
Mile: 28,773

Just before 6AM Kathy woke me up and said 'look out the hatch there is a huge water spout!' As I rubbed my eyes and poked my head out the hatch, I uttered something along the lines of 'Holy Smokes' get the sails down quick. This was no ordinary little water spout, this was a super mucho grande! Although, we were over 10 miles offshore you could see and smell dust in the wind, this was a big storm cell. The sails were quickly dropped and secured, hatches were dogged shut as we altered course on our best guess to avoid the beast. The very well formed funnel was sucking up water and delivering it high into the clouds. This thing was so big I was expecting it would soon start to rain out fish that it was vacuuming out of the sea. Luckily, our course change had us avoid the funnel and all we got was high winds and a solid downpour. Mind you we haven't even seen a thunder cloud in weeks so this was a bit of surprise.

The other major excitement of the morning was hooking into a big Black Marlin. He wasn't on the line too long, but I did get a good look to identify the species. I'm glad the fish threw the hook early as aside from a fun battle trying to reel one of these large game fish we just don't have the facilities to store the massive amount of meat should the fish be mortally wounded during the battle.

A little later we hooked a Little Tunny (Aku or Skip Jack) and decided to keep despite it's inferior quality for a tuna. We carefully brained, pithed, bled and cooled the fish prior to filleting so the flesh will be of the highest possible quality, at least for what it is.

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