Get lost and get found That’s a fair sized fillet

Abbey decked out for adventure

When you get offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat—you jump on.

For me, that offer came from my good friend George Wills, skipper of a 40ft catamaran named Alicat, and my rocket ship? The chance to sail the South Pacific passage from Fiji to New Zealand.

When the time came, George, Russ, myself and the crew set set sail, bound for the roaring 40’s, with a good weather window and all the elements of a worthy story. Making sure our friends and families were able to follow virtually, we engaged TrackMe NZ, who provide easy to use satellite tracking devices for all outdoor activities. My go to is the Garmin Mini 2, pocket size, portable, and perfect for sharing adventures with those back home.

That’s a fair sized fillet

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for adventure to find us, just off the coast of Fiji and four hours in. It was just after sunrise, calm swells rolling, when I decided to put out a line. Fifteen minutes later, we heard the reel’s high-pitched screech as whatever I’d hooked quickly retreated to Fiji. From the speed and the splashes, we knew that whatever it was, was big.

For one and a half hours it felt like a dance. Between trying not to lose the rod, keeping the line out of the dual props beneath the hull and buckets of forehead sweat, I made good progress. Eventually working myself into a pattern of reeling in then changing course back to NZ, gently dragging at idle.

Then finally, with adrenaline still humming, my dance partner emerged from the water. Every Kiwi fisherman and hunter’s dream, the magnificent blue marlin.

Unfortunately, it had drowned in the battle. After a few attempts at revival, we brought the blue marlin on board, measuring 2.78m. We were in utter disbelief, shocked and absolutely blown away. Approximately 185 -195 kg meat weight was enough to make us consider turning back for Fiji. The decision was made to store what we could to take back to New Zealand and offer a nearby yacht a vast number of steaks, offloaded by dry bag. In all my multi-sport pursuits: air, land, and water, I carry my Garmin Mini 2, for safety and tracking, giving me the ability to always communicate with my landbased crew. Word was sent that a blue marlin had been caught and we eventually continued our journey back, leaving the waters of Fiji for the snow-capped mountains of Aotearoa.

TrackMe NZ keeps you safe whereever

Adventure and excitement remained while sailing in 5m swells with 35 knots of wind. Despite open ocean we never felt isolated, sharing the adventure with loved ones at home and enabling them to be in our shoes. It brings me great joy knowing that not only am I able to be tracked and located if shizzle hits the fan, but the ability to share my adventures with those who could not or would never choose to take part themselves, is something special.

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