Crew blog by Nā’ālehu Anthony.
Conditions have remained pretty rough but we have had good wind to keep pushing north towards home. We are still on line to cover approximately 2 degrees of latitude a day as we make our way to hopefully better seas. While the ocean is 12 feet with larger sets coming through from time to time, not all is bad with this line – Hōkūle’a for the most part climbs over them pretty well. The hard part is the occasional swell that breaks over the bow and coats us with a fresh complement of salty cold water.
We reduced all our sails today. We dropped the mizzen and put up a 25 crab claw, reducing our sail area in the back by 70 square feet. We also brought out the #7 jib as our backup jib, as the #9 is now working as our main jib. The winds are pretty consistent 20 kts with gusts higher than that, so we all welcomed the smaller sail set to better match the speed of our escort and to relieve the pressure on the rig.
The cloud conditions for the last 24 hours have been 80% for most of the time, but we are fortunate to get patches of open sky to get a latitude fix to keep course. Our wind direction is from the northeast and our course is just a bit to the west of north. The line the canoe is holding is straight and the navigation team is happy with it. We’re 1614 nmi along our course line and 23 miles to the west of it.
The excitement for the day came in the form of a pretty big strike that we got early in the morning. Please note that we have had a bunch of our lines tore up this trip by some pretty big fish. Bruce has had at least 5 lures and lines taken by the monsters that patrol these waters. This fish was no exception – Kawai Hoe took his time bringing in the fish, as there was plenty tension on the line, with the fish was driving down deep and Kawai battling it back to the surface. Once the fish was on board, it was estimated to be a 100 lb yellowfin tuna. We faced the same challenge as with the last fish – with no way to refrigerate, all the fish has to be eaten, dried, or shared. We ended up cutting the fish in half and buoying the rest to the escort boat. We simply tied the gill plate to a line and the line to a water bottle, and threw it overboard to float back. Half the fish was still well over 40 lbs and the Gershon II crew was thrilled with the gift.
With our canoe rich with high grade, ultra fresh ahi, our team of chefs went to work. We had seared ahi belly and pancakes for brunch. The ahi was dusted with garlic, salt and pepper before being cooked to perfection. The sauce was a ginger shoyu concoction with a few other secret ingredients. The boys went to work cutting the bulk of the fish for drying as there were still pounds and pounds of fish to deal with, but saved a bunch for dinner. J-boy made a light course of sashimi and then put the rest of the steaks into a teriyaki marinade. After some time had passed, J-boy and the cooking posse battered them in panko and made ahi katsu with hot rice. The sauce for the katsu was a wasabi mayo aioli that went great with the crunchy dish. Most crew are in agreement that this could have been the best meal of the trip. Everyone had their fill and there was still some left for the midnight watch. All in all a great day. Mahalo nui to Kanaloa for the gift of sustenance.
Hōkūle‘a Homecoming – Save the Date
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