Passage Rarotonga to Penrhyn - Day 4
16 May 2013
It is Thursday afternoon in the South Pacific. The sky is clear except for a few puffballs drifting by high overhead. The sun is scorching. We have all our shade covers in place. The cabin temperature is 34 C and climbing. It's not just hot; it is sticky hot, like a sauna. I don't perspire much but I am dripping. To move is to sweat. Every now and again we spray ourselves with the cockpit hose. The 20 kt breeze across the cockpit instantly evaporates the spray giving momentary relief. Then we are hot again. We are gulping down water at about the same rate the water maker is producing it, working hard at staying hydrated. Such is life in a small boat sailing towards the equator!
All that being said, things aboard Sarah Jean are stellar! We are making excellent progress with strong easterly winds on our beam. We have about 125 miles to go to Penrhyn Atoll. We expect to arrive there around noon tomorrow. We have actually slowed the boat down a little to keep to this noon arrival schedule. We want to arrive at slack water at the pass into the lagoon. We also want the sun to be overhead and behind us as we work our way eastward across the lagoon to the anchorage. There will be lots of coral heads to avoid and we want to be sure to see them.
We are very excited about our imminent arrival in paradise! Our landfall beers are in the fridge chilling!
The subject of today's ramble is the SUBLIME MOMENT. What do I mean by this term? An example will follow but I am talking about a special experience that presents itself to you at a time and in such a way that you can take it all in; fully appreciate it and savor it, like slowly consuming that perfect dish of crème caramel. A SUBLIME MOMENT is joyous and fulfilling; it makes you glad to be alive! It's, like wow! It might come from a warm embrace, the sound of stirring music or the sighting of something beautiful and extraordinary. The funny thing is that the potential for a SUBLIME MOMENT is all around us every day. But the magic only occurs if you have the time and state of mind to reach out and meet the MOMENT half way. On a small boat in the middle of the ocean I've found conditions are ideal for SUBLIME MOMENTS to occur. And that's a very good thing because the more frequently they occur the more fulfilling and satisfying our life becomes!
The other day, after battling squall after squall under slate gray skies, and being knocked about in very lumpy seas, a glimmer of orange light appeared on the western horizon. The sun was trying to peak through. At first this effort appeared to be in vain. But slowly the horizon brightened into pinks and oranges as the determined sun broke through. There was a mystical aura about the sun, a fuzzy glow that cast a pastel pink light across the entire sky. We were suddenly sailing under a pink and mauve dome! As we gazed about we looked to the east, away from the setting sun, and were astonished to see a perfect rainbow behind us, touching the ocean, set against the strange pink sky. It was surreal; like some weird Technicolor event from the Wizard of Oz.
It was now dinnertime. Beth served a delicious lamb stew. With the strange rainbow arcing overhead we sat watching in awe as the sunset transformed into band after band of flaming red and orange. The rainbow quietly vanished behind us. Eventually, about an hour later, the sunset died to a few glowing embers scattered amongst the clouds. It was a breathtaking event. My description does not do it justice. Nor will my photos I'm sure.
At home in the suburbs we probably would have missed it. Even if noticed I doubt we would have taken the time to watch and appreciate the sunset being born, the brilliant radiance of its short life and it's slow but beautiful decay to embers. It was indeed a SUBLIME MOMENT, I think for all of us. The MOMENT was presented; made available to us and we were ready for it, with time and eagerly receptive minds, ready to drink it all in and savor it. It was, for us, a good day to be alive!
We are looking forward to finding more such SUBLIME MOMENTS as we continue our journey home!