MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hi from the "High"

Before we get to Debbie G's SailMail post from Morpheus, a few words about the Pacific "High" for our land lubbing reader. The Pacific "High" is shorthand for a high pressure zone which is generally found in the latitudes north and east of Hawaii, on the way to San Francisco. The "High" generates predictable winds on it's perimeter, and a predictable lack of wind if you find yourself in the middle of it. Which is where we find ourselves on this date. It is also usually located in the general area of the North Pacific Gyre, which has become notorious of late, due to a great deal of recent attention in the media about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Now the "high" is a magical place, with spectacular ocean vistas like the pictures above. But it also looks like...

and this...

and this...

and this.

While motoring through the high, we would see debris (mostly plastic, but also many net fragments) go by the boat every 5-10 minutes. Among the odder items were plastic baby bottles and hard hats. For a while we moved the watch from the companionway to the bow in order to try and avoid the bigger bits of debris in the water.

And with that context - Debbie's excellent post from the Pacific "High" - updated with pics and video:
Well, we are in the high and motoring straight to SF. We should be motoring for another day, then the wind should pick up.

Yesterday was an adventure! I was on watch at dawn. Beautiful sunrise. Then Mike caught a Dorado/Mahi Mahi! Catching, cleaning, and deciding how to prepare it took a good chunk of time. O, then we had to retrieve the bucket that fell into the H2O while Mike was cleaning the fish. Then we found and retrieved a glass fishing ball. I made the ultimate catch using my straw hat!

At this point, a HUGE brown albatross type bird joined us, trying to figure out what we were doing. (Wing span about 7 feet. Looked like a big goose size.) The bird obviously thought we might be a source of food. Off we go, closely monitored by the big brown bird (BBB), and then his BBB buddy.

Then we ran over a piece of fish net that fouled the propeller. You have never seen Jim levitate so fast from down below to the back of the boat to kill the engine. We start floating around again, so we are joined by BBB # 3. BBB 1 decides to swim into our fishing line, so we have to cut the line and let it slip backwards through it's feathers, or he would have impaled himself with the hook! Mike was not pleased to lose his lure. We attached an under H2O camera to the boat hook, and took a video of the propeller.

Yep...propeller fouled with net.

Jim briefly puts boat in reverse and a 2 x 2 piece of net floats to the surface. Just to make sure, Mike jumps into the H2O with mask and snorkel to make sure the propeller is clear. Did I mention we are in the MIDDLE of the Pacific Ocean, a thousand miles from land, and the water is 3 miles deep. You can easily see down 100 feet.

BBB # 4 comes to investigate. Mike start splashing birds to keep them at least a foot away... Um.. Mike? These are sea birds. They don't care if they get wet.... BBB 1 - 4 decide to give Mike 2 feet of space. Mike checks propeller. All is clear. Mike gets classic self portrait shot of himself, bird, Morpheus, Jim and me from the middle of the Pacific High. Mike climbs back in the boat, and we are off again.

Rest of the night went well.

Trying to get home by Chris' Bday, but we may miss by a day or 2. Will have a big party when we get home. OK?

Love to all. Keep me posted on the Olympics! Denise, say hello!


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