Day 8- New Zealand to Fiji

Today was a fabulous day of sailing! The breeze was a constant 15-20 knots and finally backed to the East so we’ve been on a wonderful beam reach for the last 30 hours or so. The waves and swell even calmed down a bit and the motion of the boat has been pretty comfortable. Delos really loves a good beam reach and we’ve been making 7.5-8 knots all day long. The temperature has been steadily climbing upward as we move North, finally reaching that magical 80F number by the time my 6:00AM watch started. The skies have a few puffy white clouds and it’s picture perfect south pacific weather.

Our fishing game really picked up today. This morning around 10:00 we had two simultaneous hits on both the rods. It must have been a school of something big because before we could slow the boat down both rods were completely spooled and our 90LB test mono was snapped like nothing. We haven’t lost a lure in a while so this is a bummer. A few hours later we got a hit on the handline and pulled in a meter long Wahoo! These are incredible looking fish with their sleek, muscular bodies. They are built for power and speed and have a nasty set of razer sharp teeth. Exactly the reason why we only use wire leader these days. They are really good eating too!

Around 2:00PM we got another hit on the port rod, one of the rods I had just replaced the mono on from our earlier bites. With Delos moving at 8 knots and the fish swimming away as fast as it could line was running off the spool at an alarming pace. Luckily I had filled it with over 300m so we had enough time to slow the boat down. With Darren manning the reel the fish fought and fought for a good 15 minutes before we had it to the transom and on deck. It was a fat Skip Jack Tuna. Not the best for Sushi but awesome meat for curry. A few hours later as we were relaxing in the cockpit listening to music we heard a loud BANG from the aft deck. I thought maybe something in the rig broke or we hit something. It was that loud and violent. We all jumped up startled and noticed the Hinano Beer can we use as an alarm on the hand line had been tripped. Something had struck with so much force that it nearly ripped the can in half and caused the loud noise we heard. We brought in our line and sadly realized that our lure was gone. The steel wire leader had been broken off and it was rated for 300lbs! It’s hard to imagine a fish strong and fast enough to snap 300lb steel leader but they’re out here. So life is good with Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna in the fridge! The fishing tally so far: 3 Mahi (only kept 1), 1 Tuna, and 1 Wahoo.

Between “fish on” drills we are trying to keep the boat clean, or as clean as you can on an ocean passage. Delos is in pretty good shape but the whole boat is covered in salt spray and everything feels a bit sticky. The cushions are slightly wet in the cockpit and the galley floor could use a good scrubbing. I think we’d all like to do laundry at the first possible chance. This far into the passage we’re well settled into our watch schedule and everyone seems rested. We’re eating well and keeping up with our boat chores so crew morale is pretty good. Everyone, even Brady, has showered and kept up with their personal hygiene.

For lunch today we had Mahi-Mahi with rice (big surprise) and for dinner Mahi-Mahi and Wahoo Tacos (even bigger surprise). We have enough fish to easily feed four hungry guys for a few more days should our luck run out.

If we can keep our speed to 7 knots or above we should arrive into Suva, Fiji before sunset tomorrow! We have about 120 miles to go which makes our ETA 3PM if everything holds.