The sail to Lamotrek from Puluwat was just over 170 miles and the winds were predicted to clock north again so we stayed well north of the rum line to be ready for the shift this time to eliminate having wind on the nose. Well the shift never came and all our planning did was add a few extra miles to the trip.
We had been sailing on a broad reach with the big reacher sail out all night long and at one point were only going 4 knots with only 10 knots of wind. At that speed we would not arrive until 8 pm, well after dark. A few hours later the winds picked up and we were going 7 knots again and were due to arrive by 2 pm so sometime you just have to be patient and wait for the wind to show up.
I put the lines out at dawn and in a few hours the fish started biting! We hooked a few Mahi to start with and were able to get them aboard while keeping the sail up. Then an big black marlin came by and took the bait! This fish was not happy and at one point was charging the boat jumping wildly and heading strait for us! About 50 feet away he turned away and took off leaping through the air. While he was doing this I was frantically winding in the 1000 feet of slack line he had stripped off the reel while we were rolling up the sail. I knew better than to get him to the boat to quickly and let the pole do the work and reeled in the slack when he quit fighting. It took about 40 minutes for the fish to tire out and then we were able to get him along side the back steps and take a few pictures and get the hook out of his bill and let him go to live another day. If we can let these magnificent fish go unharmed we do, others that either swallow the hook or drown we put in the freezer and give away to the islands.
A few hours later we had 3 more Mahi strikes and got them all aboard. This made 11 mahi, 1 marlin landed and 2 marlin, 1 wahoo and 4 mahi that got away in the last 700 miles!! Some of the best fishing we ever seen on Downtime!
We entered the pass mid afternoon on 1st of March and decided to anchor next to Pugue Island for the night and make our way the last 8 miles south to the main island next day.
In the morning we moved south and anchored in front of the village on Lamotrek. There was already one other boat here which we had met in Puluwat, Kite and another due to arrive in the morning, Flow which is being sailed Around the World by 2 Norway girls!
We were greeted by Francis the brother in law of the chief that passed away who paddled out and collected our landing fee of $20 per person. We were warmly welcomed to the island and were then free to go ashore.