Whack-A-Mola

El Molita tiene un chichone sobre su cabesa: The little mola has a lump on his head.

We know that we hit him on the head because heads are all they have, a grave liability if you are to be hit. Maybe if they invested a little more into swimming gear and a little less into heads… Anyway, if it seemed unlikely that we could find two molas in the foggy waters of central California then it can be nothing less than divine intervention that we should bonk into one off the coast of northern Baja. We never would have known except that I heard a thump and saw Twitchy’s steering oar twitch in an uncharacteristic spasm.

When I told S she said “Ohhh nooo!” in a tone reserved for women learning of an injured baby fox or upon hearing that a baby plopped from its crib onto the floor. She was adamant that her concerns were 50/50 for the mola and for Twitchy but I read 80/20 in favor of the mola in her eyes. I freely admit my concerns were 95/5 for Twitchy over the mola. When you hit a mola at sea who has somehow dodged the keel and rudder to be clipped by the little appendage hidden behind the boat it safe to say, “It is written”. Clearly the will of God.

In the method of a classic tragedy we (K) may have brought this upon ourselves by mocking the fishy deficiencies of the mola in an earlier blog entry. If so, there is justice for molas and for those who defame them. I was mollified to see the mola swimming away after the collision but Twitchy had been fully molinated and was no longer turning the boat to each zephyr crossing its vane. For one sad hour we thought we had lost the system for the rest of this leg, leading to some very unpleasant immediate options:

1) Hand steering for 48 hours to the good bay where we could hide from the oncoming surf event of the century generated by a wicked Gulf of Alaska Low pressure system.
2) Hand steering for 5 hours to a crappier bay where we would have to enter in the middle of the night and then wait out the surf event.

Happily we were dealt only a warning blow. After some brute straightening of the oar, Twichy was responding to anything over about 12 kts which was fine because the seastate was at the “Frisky” level on the Khamseen Scale (somewhere between “Booorrring” and “We Ain’t Leaving Port Yet”).

Then we ate chicken mole’. Coincidence? Perhaps. And yet, what two words are better suited in the entire realm of culinary possibilities than mola mole’? In a slightly different scenario with a less well stocked meat ration we might have known, but as I said, the mola swam slowly away and we substituted with chicken. S did catch a tuna in spite of her terrible disbelief in my 15 year old homemade mahi/tuna lures and dumpster reel. The whole system worked splendidly including the dumpster landing net and the salvaged vodka that we used to (somewhat) anesthetize the little fellow before processing. But that is another fish story.

A subsequent day of lighter air convinced us that we needed to come in from offshore and try to improve our wind steering performance so here we sit in Bahia Tortugas waiting for a clear mind and a calm sea to perform an examination and repair of Twitchy’s delicate ligature.

30°19.00’N 116°25.00’W 08-Nov-09 14:39 PDT

27°41.28’N 114°53.13’W 08-Nov-09 17:02 UTC

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