07 May 2010 | On the Sea of Cortez
What a great night. I just saw two shooting stars. There's bio luminescence in the water making its own version of the stars above. The Milky Way is so bright that it looks like wispy clouds reflecting city lights. But of course the nearest city is a hundred miles away (just the way I like it!). To quote a song from my favourite band, Great Big Sea,
wave over wave, sea over bow, I'm as happy a man, as the sea will allow
I've been North, South, East, and West, but the middle of nowhere's, where I likes it best.
I've known since my first voyage on Journey that she sailed very well downwind in higher winds. Thirty-five knots was fun. Now I see that she's pretty "slippery" in light air too. The wind is still only 8 to 10 knots but with our new asymmetrical spinnaker we're doing 6.5 to 7.0 knots on a close-reach (thanks Dave at Island Planet Sails!). Even earlier when we only had 4 to 6 knots we maintained slightly better than half the wind's speed. Not too shabby. If the transmission was functional we would have been motoring in those very light winds and I wouldn't know how well we could sail in those conditions. Maybe I'm just looking for a silver lining ... but why not.
There may be good news on the tranny. My mechanic emailed me that he thinks it's the new damper plate that failed. Fortunately I kept the old one and he thinks it'll be no problem for me to swap it out at sea. All I have to do it drop the tranny off the engine, remove the damper plate from between it and the engine, then reinstall everything. My tranny is pretty small (about the size of a toaster and weighs about 40 or 50 lbs) and the waves are still very small, so it shouldn't be too bad.
Yesterday was really fun day. I think the lack of waves has brought our little crew to life. Usually the boys hunker down and read or watch movies, and Melanie and I just drive the boat. But yesterday I made pizzas for lunch with roasted garlic, red pepper and chicken (thanks to Alan Fortune who taught us the secrets of great pizza!), then Melanie baked a chocolate cake and great dinner. The boys and I did our best Sponge Bob impression by going jelly fish hunting of the side of the boat with a net. We caught a bunch of transparent critters that looked like a cross between a squid and a jelly fish. They were almost totally transparent but had more substance to them then jellies, in that they didn't fall apart while being caught in the fish net.
Marcus has really gotten into Jordan's "Warriors" series of books about some clans of cats. Melanie and I like them too. So he badgers us to read a chapter, or four, throughout the day. As soon as one of us stops he asks the other to pick up the book. It's been fun and we've blasted through a book and a half so far. All four of us were hanging out on the cockpit together for one of the first times on a passage. Reading to your kids is a great way to spend family time together.
The southeast sky has just started getting pink. I better sign off. I have rule that if I can see the Sun rise, I do.