From my bunk I felt the seas come down and anticipated a calm day. I went on deck alone at 5 a.m. to greet the first light, and watched as dawn painted itself on the horizon and clouds. I could hear the plosive breaths of dolphins before I saw them, and greatly enjoyed watching them run across the quiet, gentle swells. A little later—pilot whales.
Everyone anticipated that, in such flat water, we’d see more swordfish. But the morning passed without a sighting.
Not until 2:30 did we see—and strike—our first fish. Half an hour later, incredibly, I saw the next before anyone else. But it went down before we could put the striker’s stand over it. Another half hour brought shouts of another sword—which Larry got.
In between we watched some pilot whales, common and white-sided dolphins, fulmars and shearwaters, uncounted storm petrels, and three skuas.
And then at 6:30, another pair of swordfish fins. Except—these were plywood; a prank played by one swordfishing boat on all the others.
Closing the day, several pods of common dolphins kept us company quite a while, playing under the bow, racing the boat.