Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 26

After being on the ocean for weeks, I saw my first big fish today - a 3-foot dorado that jumped out of the water by 3-4 feet in the trough of a wave. Miraculously, I happened to be looking in the right place at the right time because the petrel (smallish black bird) was pretty close to the boat on the same side. He came down with a big splash and was gone...or so I thought.

When I was coming out for my afternoon shift the sun was out (the only time all day). I happened to glance into the water next to the boat and there was another (or the same one, who knows...) big fish swimming leisurely under Liv. From the top this one looked like a dorado too and was also probably three feet in length. I've heard other ocean rowers talk about fish living under their boats for the "safety" that a big, slow moving thing like Liv would provide, and I've actually been surprised that its taken me until day 26 to notice one of my own.

I believe that Dorado in the Atlantic are the same as Mahi-mahi, in which case they're delicious. Maybe its time to break out the fishing tackle?



Andy Hasselwander said...


A few years ago my wife and I were fishing for Dorado / Mahi Mahi off St. Barts, which is pretty close to your end destination. Anyway, we went with a professional fisherman and used hand lines--a heavy cord with a giant baited hook--and literally pulled the fish into the boat like sacks of flour. We caught maybe 50 in an hour. The biggest was 3+ feet. The point is... if you've got something like that, you can probably catch him. And, there are probably more than one fish there.


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

A 3 foot dolphin/dorado/mahimahi is very strong! Make sure he's exhausted or dead before you bring him in the boat unless you want some thing broken (along with you).

Then enjoy some great sushi!!! Did you bring some wasabi?


Anonymous said...

I think it is so cool that you are doing this! Do you ever miss home?
Do you have any animals?

Anonymous said...

dude, time to reel that one in...we can transplant it to jackson park!!! However your skills are limited to just sunny' you will be put to the test.


Anonymous said...

Leave that fish alone!

Dan said...

Big news in Yankee land. They signed Pettite for 1 year at $5.5 million. Thought?

Dan Pfeifer said...

Hi Paul,

My name is Dan Pfeifer and I'm from Norwich, NY. I've been following your journey for about a week now and I'm fascinated. You should be very proud of what you're doing for Caner Research. My wife had breast cancer 3 years ago and I'm happy to say she's doing well.

I'm the Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 63 in Norwich. I was wondering if you were in Scouts, I wouldn't be surprised if you were.
We are just coming off a weekend of winter camping at Camp Tuscarora near Deposit where the temp dipped down to about minus 6 Sat. night! The boys had fun as we took the trophy this year! We were all tired Sunday coming home and I couldn't help but think of you and how commendable it is to do what your doing. We were only out for a few days!

I'm rambling but if you're bored (probably more like exhausted)it will give you something to read! I'm going to share your story with my Scouts at my next meeting. I may have them post some comments/questions for you.

I would love to have you visit one of our Troop meetings when you get back, I think it would give them inspiration in there journey to becoming Eagle Scouts (sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get them to advance, earn badges etc.).

I'll be talking to you more. You'll probably be sorry to hear that I'm a Mets fan!

Keep your spitits up out there!


Anonymous said...

Here are some facts about the fish you saw. I thought you may want to read a little about them. Do you have a book on board about the different kinds of sea life you may encounter?

Lori H. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Dorado, Coryphaena hippurus, also known as dolphin, dolphin-fish, mahi-mahi or lampuka (in Maltese) are surface-dwelling ray-finned fish found in off-shore tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. They are one of only two members of the Coryphaenidae family, the other being the Pompano dolphinfish. The name "Dorado" ("strong-strong" in Hawaiian), particularly on restaurant menus, has been adopted in recent years to avoid confusing these fish with dolphins, which are mammals. They are also commonly known as maverikos.

Dorado have a lifespan of no more than three to four years. Sport catches average 7 to 13 kg (15 to 28 pounds). They seldom exceed 15 kg (33 pounds), and any Dorado over 18 kg (39 pounds) is exceptional. Dorado have compressed bodies and long dorsal fins extending almost the entire length of their bodies. Their anal fins are sharply concave. They are distinguished by dazzling colors: golden on the sides, bright blues and greens on the sides and back. Mature males also have prominent foreheads protruding well above the body proper. When they are removed from the water, the fish often change between several colors, finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death.

Dorado are carnivorous, feeding on flying fish, crabs, squid, mackerel, and other small fish. They have also been known to eat zooplankton and crustaceans.

Dorado are highly sought game fish throughout their range because of their beauty and fighting ability. Their flesh is notable for its flavor and firm texture. Dorado have become popular restaurant fare in many areas, sometimes eaten as a substitute for swordfish because, having scales, they are considered kosher, as well as halal by Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, and the United States are the primary countries capturing and exporting Dorado (30,000 to 40,000 tons are harvested annually worldwide), and Europe, Japan, the United States, and the Caribbean region are the primary consumers.

One of the fastest-growing fish, Dorado are fast swimmers as well, with a top swimming speed of 50 knots. Dorado spawn in warm ocean currents throughout much of the year; and its young are commonly found in sargassum weed.

Anonymous said...

I found out about your journey through Dan S. I met him at work in Chicago. He told me about this trip and I was immediately fascinated and ask all kinds of questions.

This trip has taken on so much more meaning to me as a co-worker of mine has been diagnosed with cancer. Obviously, I wanted to do something and the donating to the foundation made so much sense.

I recently won $70 in a college football bowl pool and I decided this money could be put to better use then anything I would buy. Tonight I passed this money onto the foundation to find a cure for cancer.

Good luck with the trip. I'm reading the blog everyday.


Sean said...


I first read about your mission in the Press and Sun. I have been following along with your progress daily. Cancer has touched my family more than once and I think what you are doing is remarkable on so many levels. Those of us that are following you may not be there un presence but we are there in spirit.

Vestal, NY

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, Paul!

I'm excited to see the progress you're making and know you're looking forward to those days when you'll be making more miles per day than what you've averaged so far.

Enjoy your warm weather! We're supposed to get hit with a storm tonight (Tuesday) into tomorrow that will start as snow and can change to wintry mix or rain depending upon where in the tri-state area you are.

It's interesting about the Dorado. If he continues to travel with you, maybe you can adopt him/her as your mascot! We'll have to work on a name for him/her.

You truly are remarkable in what you are doing and have accomplished so far. Keep up the good work and know you have lots and lots of people cheering you on! I've introduced your website to several people who are checking it daily and have passed it on to others. You're going to be a busy man when you get back to land!

Friend of K-Rock

Anonymous said...

So your little bird friend is still following you? How funny!

You're doing great. I tell anyone who will listen about what you are doing.

I have been going through some hard times recently, and reading your blog has helped me get through the days. So, thanks.

Best wishes, Paul!

K-Rock and #1 Wild Bill said...

Hi Buddy - Wow - fish in the ocean - amazing!! Just leave him where he is -he can be good company - as long as he doesn't attract bigger & meaner predators - then he can get the heck away from you! We continue to be impressed everyday with the number of new supporters to this blog. It's a real testament to how your challenge is touching people all around the country. Don't be shy about reminding folks that you are only part of the story - the foundation is the part that will make a real difference in lives. Send many thanks to those have already contributed and encourage new-comers to do the same. Every little donation helps to reach your goal. It's not just about gin & tonics in Antigua - really, it's not - and I'm trying to say that with a straight face! xxoo-

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

Just wanted to let you know that I made a commitment to work out everyday in solidarity with you starting on January 1st. I haven't missed a day yet (except 2 Sundays when I needed to be in church -- but I did double during the week). Anyway,I have a teeny-tiny sense of what you might feel like when you wake up and have to face hours of rowing. Facing an hour on the tredmill every morning is daunting enough.
Hurry home -- I have steak (thanks to Lisa and Ken), funky fries and chocolate pie waiting.

Margaret said...

Hi Paul,
Would it be considered "cheating" if you roped a dorado (or two) and got a lift? "Dorados make surface runs in combination with acrobatic jumps and direction changes." Might give your sore muscles a chance to rest AND you could probably star on Animal Planet.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna help you on your greatest hits of food.
-Chicken from "Chiggin Place"
- Philly Cheese steak (as long as we start in the middle of the night and actually drive to Philly.)
-A Blue Point Toasted Lager from the Ale House

Keep it up buddy.
- Yanuzzi

p.s. Somehow our random trips to Philadelphia seem incredibly minisculed. Thanks for ruining my best stories.

Paul Manuszewski said...

Hi Paul,

This is Paul Manuszewski (a.k.a. Mr. Mann)from BHS, remember? I've been meaning to write for some time to let you know how impressed I am with you and your adventure. When I was 24 I rode a bicycle 3,000 miles from California to Florida. Those two months are a vivid part of my memory and pysche. I learned a great deal about myself on that trip and it continues to pay dividends to this day. I am sure you will draw upon the great mind/body energy and struggle of this journey for the rest of your life. It is certainly a beautiful way to honor your mother and the life she gave you. She would be so proud. Your determination is obvious and I am certain you'll reach your destination and I hope there's that big fat check for cancer research waiting for you! I am making a contribution today.

Good winds!

Melissa M said...

"Of all the dorados, I remember one in particular, a special dorado. It was early morning on a cloudy day, and we were in the midst of a storm of flying fish…" - Life of Pi

how crazy that the book has that line in it?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul!

Dorado, or mahi-mahi, are beautiful! They actually mate for life so look carefully the next time you see one and you may see a second. They will feed on the small fish that live under your boat and are often see trailing behind your boat by ten yards or so. If you do go fishing make sure you have some strong line and gloves because they are strong!

-Brian A.

Teddi said...

Dear Paul,
We loved your "big fish" story.
It must be just incredible.
Teddi and the whole group