Night Watch in the Pacific
06 April 2011 | middle of nowhere
The night watch is one of my favorite times. Here we are, sailing at 7 knots, the wind is howling in the wind generator, the sideways equatorial crescent moon is smiling at us. I can hear the water shooshing past the hull, as it leaves bursts of luminescence in its wake.
The luminescence of the water has to be seen, to be believed. It's not just whitish spray; it's brilliant bluish-white neon flashes from a million underwater glow-bugs.
We have been at sea for... what?... 12 days now. We are at about the halfway point in this passage. We are more than 1000 nautical miles to the nearest land in any direction. I have heard it said, that this point is the greatest distance you can possibly be from land anywhere on the planet. I don't quite believe it, but it might be true. If I had internet right now I'd check it out.
We haven't seen another boat, ship, or even airplane, in the last 10 days. This ocean is so big! Doing a watch amounts to making sure your sail trim is correct. There is no worry about running into anything. At least not until we get closer to land.
I always thought single handers were nuts because they'd have to sleep some time. One could sleep out here for several hours and not miss anything. They may be nuts, but for different reasons.
As the sun set this evening, we spotted a long series of clouds on the horizon that had peculiar shapes. They looked like handwriting, slanting to the right. One looked like a hungry turtle, with one claw putting food in its mouth. Right behind it was a stegosaurus, which soon morphed into a Labrador retriever. Pascale, the boys, and I excitedly called out shapes as we perceived them.