When you get offered a seat on a rocket ship you don’t ask what seat, you jump on. That offer came from George Wills, friend and skipper of AliCat, a 40ft Catamaran, to sail the South Pacific passage from Fiji to New Zealand. George, Crew Russ and myself set sail bound for the roaring 40’s with a good weather window that had all the elements of an intrepid worthy story received by friends and family able to ‘TrackMe’ following virtually along onboard the adventure.
The most unexpected came in the fourth hour into the trip off the coast of Fiji. I put a line out after sunrise to the bubble mark, rolling in calm swells when a ‘big fish’ was hooked after 15 minutes. The high pitch pace of the reel retreating back to Fiji, big splashes and eye’s popping of what we were about to entail was enough to question, we may have hooked a Kiwi Fishing and Hunters dream…
A dance between trying not to lose the rod, entire line, steering keeping the line out of the dual props underneath the hull and George at times was quite the forehead sweat. Eventually getting into a pattern to get the unbeknown ‘big game fish’ on board we were making good progress lapping back reeling in and then changing course back to NZ gently dragging at idle. One and a half hours later with adrenaline still humming, the moment emerged when we saw the beautiful magnificent Blue Marlin. Unfortunately it had drowned later in the battle and after attempts of revival we brought the Blue Marlin on board the stern measuring 2.78m. We were all in utter disbelief, shocked and absolutely blown away! Approximately 185 -195 kg eat weight was enough for us to consider turning back for Fiji. The decision was made to store what we could to take back to New Zealand and offer a nearby yacht a vast amount of steaks that was offloaded by dry bag.
In all my multi sport pursuits air, land and water I carry a Garmin Mini 2 for both ‘TrackMe’ safety and tracking. I have the ability to always communicate or be in reach with my land based crew, Martha. Word was sent that we indeed caught a famous marlin. The sailing passage home was only to meet the same excitement levels when the trade winds arrived that was rather spicy sailing in 5m swells and 35 knots of wind. Never once did the feeling of isolation occur with the reassurance of my trusty crew that were “10/4 rubber ducky” tracking following along fellow sailors George, Russ and I. Sharing the adventure, enabling those that could not or would never choose to be in our shoes brings much joy knowing that not only am I able to be tracked and located if shizzle hits the fan, but being able to share adventures with many is pretty neat.
Get lost and get found. TrackMe - Abbey Delore
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