A continuation of 05/01
02 May 2009 | Somewhere in the Atlantic on the way back
Saturday, 5/2/09, 01:30 I was sitting in the cockpit staring at the waves next to me, watching the phosphorescent creatures caught up in our wake flashing and twinkling at me in the water. They reminded me of stars shining at me but from below. The sky cleared nicely so I had stars above me and in a manner, stars below me as the critters strobed from darkness to brilliant little stars in the water. As I was watching this amazing phenomenon, a fin came up near the side of the boat and shocked me. I thought, "You did NOT see what you just thought you saw - it was a wave that was all". Then again, closer to the side of the boat as a wave was rising, a fin rose out of the water breaking the reflected moonlight pattern on the wave. I couldn't believe it. I had a dolphin riding waves, in the dark, next to the boat. I sat in the cockpit mesmerized, watching him swim right next to me. I could have reached out over the railing and touched him. I was literally in shock. A dolphin, swimming next to me in the dark. I don't know if our boat ran into his resting area so he was swimming to figure out what the heck we were doing, or if he was a night child, out for adventure, swimming along at night and decided to have a peak at us. It was an unexpected treasure for me though.
I continued watching the 1st quarter moon as it got lower on the horizon. A red semicircle of shimmering light that got dimmer the lower it got in the sky. Larger, dimmer, more red, more fuzzy, until it disappeared below the waves around 2:30am. I couldn't believe how dark it got without the moonlight. The only light besides my instruments were the stars in the sky and my phosphorescent stars below me in the water.
3am and all is quiet. Wayne gets the sunrise watch this morning. I'll miss it, but am really in need of a couple of hours of sleep. The auto helm is still working (fingers crossed here). The tape has separated from the belt near the bottom, but where the belt is not in contact with the gear, the tape is working marvelously! We decided DON'T touch it. As long as it's working, let it work so we don't have to stand with our hands on the wheel the entire watch. 4am, Wayne's watch - time for some shuteye.
7am - Back on duty. 0715 we decided to change course for St Augustine, so I reset our coordinates to head inward more and then Wayne went below for some much needed sleep. There's not a lot to look at - nothing on the horizon so to speak of other than waves, and more waves. I'm thinking though that since Otto is still holding up, and the day looks pretty good, that perhaps we should continue onward to Fernandina. I'll confer with the Capt'n when he gets back up.
9:30am Okay we're back on for Fernandina Beach Florida. We have 2-4 ft waves with 6-7 second periods; SW winds 8-10 knots and it's 74* out.
12:00pm Dolphins on the bow again! How wonderful they are! They came zooming up to the boat and started swimming along with us, beside us, under us and criss crossing back and forth in front of us. Our own personal vanguard (laughing out loud and pointing at them now). Of course I had to grab my camera again! One came leaping out of the water right next to me near the bow and splashed my camera when he entered the water as I was snapping his picture. Hope it comes out. This pair was definitely enjoying our company and was all around our boat before finally darting off again. They disappeared as fast as they came.
1900 (7pm) the sun is getting lower in the sky. Not much has happened today since the dolphins. I did see a sea turtle riding the surface current earlier. Not sure which kind - kind of yellowish so I don't think a Ridleys, maybe a green one. Seemed strange to see it out in the middle of nothing. Some mac salad and brownies for dinner - time for me to hit the sack - I'm a tired little puppy.
24:00 Wow, Wayne let me sleep - but I guess I really needed it. I'm not the marathon driver he is. I remember on our road trips with the kids, he'd only stop for gas. I always thought he'd have been happy as a truck driver - mile after mile of highway. LOL - I'm sure the girls would agree!