During our circumnavigation of Planet Ocean, we never saw a Mola Mola Sunfish which is probably a good thing.
The sunfish has big bones and a heavy body, and if you collide with it at sea, it can sink your boat.
The sunfish is a threat to the balanced rudders on Exit Only. A collision with the rudder can bend the rudder post, and if we were extremely unlucky, the rudder damage could create a large hole in the bottom of the boat where the rudder post goes through the hull.
A rudder colliding with a 4000 pound fish is potentially catastrophic.
There are many accounts of yachts sinking after collision with sunfish.
Most of the sailboats sunk by sunfish are monohulls that suffer catastrophic damage to the keels creating an unstoppable leak that sinks the boat. It's a case of the unstoppable object (the yacht) colliding with the unmovable object (the sunfish), and the unstoppable object loses and sinks.
Catamarans tend to have a shallow draft with small unballasted keels, and that may be why collisions with sunfish rarely result in the sinking of the cat.
Monohull sailboats with deep keels dangling beneath the boat probably have a higher risk of structural damage when they collide with a sunfish.
Sunfish weigh in between 500 and 5000 pounds. They look like a giant fish head with a tail. Their maximum length is nearly eleven feet long, and their maximum height is thirteen and a half feet tall from tip to tip of the vertical fins.
Sunfish normally swim slowly with a cruising speed of 2 miles per hour, although they are capable of faster speeds when feeding or avoiding predators. They have been known to jump vertically ten feet out of the water, and on rare occasions they have injured people when they landed on a boat.
The sunfish dive down to feed at a depth of 200 meters, and they have been recorded as diving as deep as 600 meters.
Due to the large surface area of its body, the sunfish gets hypothermic when it dives to great depths, and when it returns to the surface, it basks horizontally on the water surface to expose itself to the sun and elevate its body temperature.
It's when the sunfish is at or near the surface basking in the sun that it presents the greatest risk to sailboats.
When the sunfish is vertically oriented swimming through the water, the visible dorsal fin can be mistaken for that of a shark.
The sunfish is the largest bonefish in the world. The female sunfish can release up to 300 million eggs at a time which is the greatest number of eggs released by any vertebrate species. When the sunfish larvae hatch, they are 2.5 mm long and weigh less than a gram. If the hatchling survives to adulthood, the sunfish will grow up to 60 million times their original weight.
Although the sunfish is not agressive to humans, it's the one fish that can accidently sink your boat.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.