Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The sounds of night watch


The winds are still light, and we are still sticky, but the rains only come once every few hours and then only for 20 minutes. We are leaving the Solomon's and her weather behind. We've been sailing with 8 knots of wind at times, then roll around with 5 knots of wind for an hour until the next little squall brings a freshening breeze. This is sailing close to the equator. I guess we asked for it.

We want to say a special hello to Braeden and his dad Carl and their family. Tamsyn says hi, and we all hope your summer vacation is fun. Tamsyn is still in class for a while yet, as we skipped her studies as we worked hard to get ready for another sailing season. Tamsyn is looking forward to seeing Komodo dragons on their home island soon.

Last night when I was on night watch I reflected on how much one can grow to love the sea in many of her moods. The southern stars were out in all their glory for much of the night. Early on an orange horned moon hung in the western sky as the cries of pelagic sea birds wafted down from above. The kids were long asleep; Griffyn talking occasionally in his sleep. "I'm not going to sleep there." being one outburst I remember from last night. Tamsyn sleeps silently, dreaming of Xanth - her series of books she's engrossed in currently. She dos sleep with her legs akimbo all the time - even crossed sometimes. Carrie rests hard. Her work keeping us going are never ending.

I think it's the sound of the wind that I like the most on passage. When it whispers a tentative hum in the rigging I know those licks are from a gust front some miles away. Then they thrum more stridently like the breath they are the sails stir lazily. Soon the sound of water starts gently lapping against the hull as we begin to move.

After a time when we are not making long passages, I always listen for new sounds and strange noises. Hopefully I'll catch her keening before something breaks. Hopefully. Last night it was a new squeek/thump. I harnessed up and went forward to discover one of the lines for the spinnaker pole had loosened. I tightened it up, and returned aft, and only then saw the myriad splashes of bio luminescence all around the boat. Glowing torpedoes that were Jacks. Bright stars that were some type of disturbed plankton. Then as I looked a last time over the rail before going into the cockpit I stopped transfixed. A golden wave of light glides under us - Manta ray silent and unremarked except for the startled brilliance of it's prey.

So that's all from us tonight. Mackerel, coconut milk and rice with onions for dinner, then he second half of Harry Potter number two for entertainment. Then another night watch. We should pass just west of Pocklington Reef tonight - which is itself then easternmost part of the Louisiade archipelago and part of PNG. So we'll keep plugging away and hoping for wind.

S 10 08.447
E 155 49.547

4.2 kts at 220 degrees true


Owen & famiy

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Carl Setzer said...

Tamsyn, Braeden says "hi" back. More soon.

Glad all's well with you.

Carl Setzer said...

Hi back, Tamsyn. We're glad you're doing well. Braeden & Jake will be spending today playing putt-putt golf. We'll be excited to hear what you think of the dragons.