We’re proud, we have developed a way to survey submesoscale features in the open ocean using a “small” boat with minimal cost. Our first survey was a success. Energized by this, we leave the dock at sunrise with calm seas. We clear any tidal debris in the first 15 miles from port. We are moving comfortably at 22 knots when I feel a small thump at my feet. Engine immediately reeves and we loose speed.
Kristina sees a oceanic sunfish (Mola Mola) flopping at the surface behind the boat, it’s a big one, a real big one. After I mount the small outboard, we approach the Mola to take a picture right as it disappears into the deep blue.
I assume my position on the till for the next 5 hours as Kristina sends hourly updates to the Coast Guard.
After a long day going really slow, we pull the boat to find that striking the Mola removed the entire lower unit, we’re happy we did not take on water.
Lesson learned, you can’t always see a Mola to avoid it, therefore, hope for the best and make sure you do all you can to stay lucky.