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Day 30 at sea: fish are friends not food...

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Atlantic Lions posing with their catch

The Atlantic Lions celebrate passing the halfway point on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean by blogging about their latest fishing ventures.

After 30 days of dehydrated food, a successful catch really helps to lift spirits on board Tiny Dancer. 

...apart from when you’ve eaten dry pasta lasagne meals for 30 days at sea.

Along with updating you all on our extreme fishing adventures, this blog also represents the HALFWAY mark of our challenge. A huge ‘Joey Milestone’ that we are delighted to have passed. The first half was certainly a challenging one what with getting used to life at sea, strict sleep patterns, salt sores and the odd hurricane.

However, out of the storm we continue to row on in almost a direct westerly heading that will see us into Antigua hopefully in the first week of February - especially if current weather conditions remain. Fingers crossed! Whilst spirits are high (not always during the night shifts!!) sores, aches and pains continue to increase in number and severity, something we are longing to be rid off in Antigua.

Now onto the important news – the progress of fishing.

During our time in La Gomera we decided to purchase a fishing rod and fishing rod holder for our boat. We thought it would provide a nice distraction now and then away from the rowing routine, along with possibly the odd special snack or two. With all of us being pretty much fishing novices, our Antiguan friends and fellow ocean rowers Team Wadadli – clearly expert anglers – kindly offered to set up our rod. "Lots of fish you’ll catch" they told us, "just trawl a line and you should get one each day" they said. Well 30 days into our crossing and not a single fish had come aboard Tiny Dancer (we did have two bites but they broke free before the boat).

However, like London buses, we then caught two dorados in the space of 4 hours. The first (featured in the photo) was a very manageable size so we decided that lunch could come early. Matt and Dave wrestled him into the boat whilst Joe covered him up to calm him down. I then went to kitchen and gutted, skinned and filleted the delicious meat. Simply diced and cooked in white wine vinegar it provided the first taste of fresh meat in weeks, seasoned of course with our many condiments (only lemon and soy sauce).

The second though can only be described as the godfather of dorado. A whopping 1 metre long and covered in amazing colours. Somehow we got him on board in time for some neat video recording and money shots (I’m afraid you’ll all have to wait until we are back on land before seeing visual proof of our extreme catch). You’ll be pleased to know we let him free though as he was of course Joey’s new best friend who he’d aptly named Donny. Joe claims that it was the same dorado he has seen the past 6 nights and thus thought of him as his new sea companion - truth or hallucinations?? I’ll let you all decide.

It’s not all one way warfare out here though. Flying fish, aka sea pigeons, have decided to strike back these past few nights, darting out of the water and heading straight for us in true kamikazefashion. Matt and Joe have both received hits to the head whilst myself and Dave to the back.

Round two tomorrow!

Charlie

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