Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Tubuai Taxi

Another night and day of plain sailing, with no major or even minor dramas to report as Sapphire trundles across the ocean at 5.5 -6 knots in a north easterly direction, sometimes heading directly for Tubuai, at others a little north depending on the exact direction of the wind. which has been 12 - 14 knots since yesterday. In fact, I have hardly done a thing other than read my book and eat my meals. We've been on starboard more or less the entire journey except for when I made my panicky little tack across the Kermadec Ridge, so the actual sailing that I've done today has consisted in letting out the rest of the main sail early this morning shortly after a spectacular sunrise. So far I've actually been at the Helm for about an hour or maybe two at the most in the entire journey, because for all the rest of the time the Hydrovane has been noiselessly ad ceaselessly keeping the boat at just the right angle to the wind.and the sails full - nothing for me to do. Like being in a Taxi. So I sit here, sit there, sit outside sit inside, stand here and there leaning against support, checking sky and clouds, wind speed and direction now and again, just killing time. I listened to my music for the first time this trip, the Dixie Chicks and then Bic Runga, I did a bit of tidying and hung my socks out to dry and aired my pillow and sleeping bag and put my garden lights outside to recharge themselves for the evening ( I bought these garden lights at Bunnings - they are meant to sit in the garden and illuminate your feature rockery and garden at home but they work well as cabin lights) The Hydrovane bolts are fine and the bilges are dry.

My food today has been muesli - a rather dull blend with far too much bran and hardly anything else - with a small container of diced fruit over it, the last avocado, the last of the cherry tomatoes, the last of my treasured feijoas, a fresh orange and an apple, bread salami and a cup of Spicy Thai Instant noodles, a few lollies and a biscuit. I feel a little hungry still so might have a tin of something more substantial tonight.

With no dramas there is plenty of time to observe the clouds and the sea and the sky. Ive noticed definitely fewer seabirds today, where there were always one or two of the brown ones - I think shearwaters - today hardly any, but Ive seen several of a kind I hadn't noticed before at all, slightly smaller ones that flap their wings a bit more , pure and bright white underneath but dark on top. And a sad little squid that had landed on the boat overnight was dead and drying in the sun when I noticed it this afternoon. - buried at sea of course.

I also observed a dark cloud with rain streaming from its flat underside in a sloping dark veil to the sea, dead ahead for some time and I thought we might get wet but it slid sideways, to the west and behind. And so another day goes by.

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