Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Week In

It would be fair to say I've had a better start this time, but I am not going to jinx myself by predicting what might happen next. The pattern of the last few days is repeating itself today it would seem, a quiet start slowly building to a steady 12 to 14 knot breeze and Sapphire making 5.5 to 6 knots in the right direction. Subtle things change daily though, and today those majestic ocean swells, 100m apart and 2 and sometimes 3 meters high have begun making an appearance, silently surging forward across the sea and lifting us to a vantage point from where, briefly the distant flat horizon is seen . And then we ride down into the trough, a wide valley between the swells where the horizon is the next advancing swell. These ones are not huge and not threatening but it is impressive to watch their powerful and silent advance. Eventually the wind is expected to go east, in front of me, so I shall turn right and head SE for a bit, and follow the wind around as it swings to the north , perhaps on the weekend., after which a front is expected before the wind goes south . We shall see!

Meantime, another day at the office, though a bit more bobbing about today with these larger swells. Hundreds of tiny flat bottomed clouds everywhere, like dodgems, and lots of sun. There have been some odd lulls in the wind as well, for a couple of hours during the night and a few times during the day when for no apparent reason the wind drops right off and we slow almost to a standstill. Indeed during the early hours today, we drifted for an hour or two as I wrestled with the idea of using the motor to keep us going, imagining at that time that the wind was going to stay weak indefinitely. I sat under the stars instead, listening to the silence and soon enough as I waited a shooting star streaked across above me. The Milky Way, so aptly named, is never as milky as when viewed from out here, and is a stunning feature in the crowded night sky when the moon is yet to rise. I have seen it from outback Australia where the air is cold and pure but still, at sea, the Milky Way is even more wonderful, as is the whole of the rest of the night sky which reaches down right to the wave tops.

Shortly after returning to the cabin for more sleep I heard a small slap on the deck above then a fluttering sound and remarkably, within a few seconds, the strong smell of fish. A Flying fish was stranded, flapping in the scuppers and doomed except that I went back outside and picking it up by its shiny long "wings" dropped it over the side. I'm told they are nice to eat but the smell would put me off. Eventually the wind returned and we carried on, but not before I had to rescue a second flying fish.

The water is definitely warming, as is the daytime temperature, and sea life seems less here than further south. I've seen few birds today, and unlike my trips in the Tasman where numerous times I saw dolphins , and even whales, so far in the Pacific, nothing. I suppose the warming air is responsible for the outbreak of mould on my bread, and even on the margarine, and for the rapid ripening of the last of the mandarins which I finished off today. Soon there will be no fresh food left. But I am about a third of the way across. Cant complain.

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