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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

An Exciting Crossing!

NOTE: Revise the name of the fish down below. We're from Colorado and we know diddly-squat about sea creatures. So, I got the name of the fish wrong, so what??? Thanks for pointing out PUBLICLY, Jesse! No really, thanks. I hate being stupid dumb. 

I bet you are thinking I’m just dying to talk more about our new boat cushions, aren’t you? Well, sorry to disappoint, but we had far too many exciting things happen to drone on about the little things in life that make me happy.

Cloud patterns crossing the TPec - not so ominous

Same pretty cloud patterns, but with thunder heads in the distance
Truly, we crossed the Tehuantepec. We’ve done it before, but not during hurricane season. It was a last minute decision, but the weather window looked really good. Really good! We were having trouble getting approval from the insurance company to do repairs in Chiapas and we didn’t have time to goof around. So, we went for it. It couldn’t have been a better crossing – unless we could have sailed the entire way and saved fuel money. But, we did sail- quite a bit- and enjoyed every minute of it.

We had a full moon both nights.  I love full moon night crossings. That little bit of light on the water is comforting as well as beautiful. Even though we have radar, being able to see in front of you lessens anxiety.

Fuzzy photo of dolphin turning to look at us - did I mention my nice Olympus camera quit working?
Humidity, perhaps????
And I don’t know if it’s because we’re lucky or super stupid, but we didn’t see a single panga, a solitary fishing boat or any sign of a trawler, container ship or sailboat. I suspect it’s the time of year people don’t go crossing the Tpec. Storms are rampant. And hurricanes are born here. But for us, our favorite crossings are those where there is no traffic.

Our Raymarine showing us numerous storm cells approaching Hotspur.
We've learned how to dodge diligently.
Speaking of storms, we saw many of them on radar before they came too close - another reason for not being a sailing purist. We steered around and behind and sped up in front of all kinds of little storm cells thanks to our trusty radar. Jim saw 12 on the screen at one time. The lightening is what is troublesome to us – not the rain or wind. And, we had lightening on all sides of us this trip. But, we managed to stay out of range.

But the main reason we had such an excellent time this trip across is that Tim reeled in a monster fish!

I had set our faithful feather – the ugly, faded one that has been so good to us. I had it riding perfectly on the surface, popping every so often to draw attention. And the water was a gorgeous aquamarine color that morning. Simply breathtaking. When one of the crew asked nicely for grub from the kitchen wench, I went below to make French Toast. I heard the excitement at the breaking of the first egg.

While I was down below, Tim and Jim saw something tug on the line - a fin or something was batting at the squiddy. Tim ran to the pole and tugged on the line. That was all the coaxing needed. All of a sudden, the fish lunged and took the lure.

I ran back on deck to see Tim already struggling to reel in something very large and fighting hard. My heart dropped. I just wanted something to cook for dinner – not something the size of a garage door! But, I grabbed the fighting belt and strapped it onto my son’s waist. He heaved and hoed (is that spelled correctly? Hoed?) breathlessly, but managed to reel in the beautiful specimen to Hotspur’s waterline. It was a gorgeous fish!

A Black Marlin SAILFISH with deep purple and blue hues on it’s hood.

Mexicans do eat marlin SAILFISH – smoked usually. But we Hotspurvians do not eat marlin SAILFISH that isn’t on a menu – already caught, cleaned and cooked. So there wasn’t a long discussion about what we were going to do with it. But…

Tim wanted to remove our favorite feather lure from the marlin’s SAILFISH's mouth – I really didn’t think it was a good idea even though I am also very fond of this lure, but since when have the men on this boat listened to me? So, with leather work gloves, Tim hauled the massive fish up to the toe rail by hand until the weight of the fish bent the hook. The marlin SAILFISH thankfully slid off the hook unceremoniously and plopped heavily back into the ocean. He was tired, but unscathed and he hurried off to find a real breakfast elsewhere.

Black Marlin STUPID SAILFISH! In 4 years of living on a boat in Mexico , we have never caught a marlin OR A SAILFISH. We’ve seen plenty of them – have even had them inspect our lures with their bills… batting to test the authenticity of the squiddy and never falling for our tricks. But we got the best of this one this time!

As for dinner, we had a fishless meal. Once we had the wind and got the sails up no one has the inclination to try and mess with reeling in the catch. Too much of a hassle to lower the sails and stop the boat and all that jazz. But that’s okay - I made Hotspur’s skillet lasagne, our favorite comfort food. I'll post the recipe later. It's a goody!

See? Story is the exact same with or without the word SAILFISH!


  1. I'm thinking Sail fish is more like it.

    1. Jesse, Really? I'm so fish stupid... even with color picture books. Oh well, he was still super cool!!

    2. Don't beat you self up over it. It was a beautiful fish. Girls! ;)

    3. Oh Sweetie, I'm not beating myself up. I'm just going to get even.

  2. I'm afraid, very afraid. NOT! capslock

  3. Hate to agree with Jesse, but he's *right*. Ack! Gorgeous fish though. But for your camera--take out the battery etc and put it in a cooling oven 100F or so (shut off). Often will dry out the humidity. Or get the dehumidifier crystals and put some in an open container then seal the camera and crystals into a larger container overnight. We keep our cameras in a dry box with a silica gel pack when not in use for this very reason... It looks like this:

    1. Hey,Hey,Heyyyyy!I love you to. ;)

    2. Thanks Ceilydh... I am really hoping that it is a humidity problem. I really like this camera. I have several packets of desiccants so I'll try those first in a plastic zip-lock. If that doesn't work I'll try the cooling oven.

  4. And on top of that it looks like you snagged it. ;)

  5. Thank you for spelling my name right.

  6. Getting Closer.....keep chugging towards La Paz!