Pacific Ocean

Bonobo: the fish of the Pacific

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There isn’t much wind. Amongst countless squalls, we are sailing under genoa alone. Of course, it would be better with the gennaker, but yesterday it was badly rolled; the top of the sail has rolled in the opposite direction to the bottom, whilst the upper section has twisted round and round. With this damned swell on the beam still, we hoist the rolled gennaker (after having rolled the genoa and started the engines, just in case). But it unrolls partially, and because it catches the wind, risks tearing. Quick, we must re-furl it, the Captain gets worked up on deck and shouts at the top of his voice, “quick,, no, there", what shall we do? First of all, it has to be protected from the wind! So, we roll the sheet to prevent the sail from catching the wind to hoist it again, and we just have to hope that this will work! On the second attempt, the Captain decides that he is going to hoist it. “You’re much too slow!” but phew, the wind has dropped. “Quick, quick, let’s unroll it!” Go and put the sheet on the winch, let’s go!” The Captain unrolls, I run to the stern to sheet in, and at the same moment: zzzz, the fishing rod! Obviously, we never catch anything, but we just had to get a bite at the wrong moment! I try as best as I can to engage the brake, whilst sheeting in the gennaker, but I don’t succeed! “Put the brake on!” says the Captain, who in passing is starting to sound like his colleague, Captain Haddock! “But that’s what I’m trying to do, for crying out loud!” Phew, the gennaker is unrolled. “Look after the boat, I’ll look after the fishing rod!” The Captain turns the reel, but there is a good 250 meters of line to be wound in. We also have to prepare the rum, find a spike. After a quarter of an hour, the fish shows its face, and what a face! “What are we going to do with that? It weighs a ton!” A marlin! Fortunately it’s a small one, only 1.8 m long. Quick, the rum (Strong, 80° rotgut from St Lucia) in the gills to knock it out. The Captain is as proud as a peacock. In view: sushi, sashimi, grilled fish, poached fish, fish maundered, fish with a sauce... The result: 25 kilos ‘net’ of steaks!

Nadine and Marc aboard Bonabo

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