An Escape is Made to the South

Day 16

Noon Position: 10 46.05N 122 08.91W
Course/Speed: S 6
Wind: ENE 10
Sail: Main and big genoa out; wind on the beam
Bar: 1016, rising
Sea: SE, long and low rollers
Sky: Sunny, open, light cumulus to windward
Cabin Temp: 87
Water Temp: 83 (note sea slightly cooler)

Miles last 24-hours: 116
Miles since departure: 1981

All day and all night we motored slowly south, heaving our way through a greasy witch’s brew of SE and NE swells that ricocheted merrily off each other but drove Mo starkers. Not a breath. A flat, gray sky. Enough rain to require hatches closed. And as the engine warmed, the cabin approached 90 degrees. I slept the night in a puddle of my own making, satisfied only that we were at least making southing.

Twenty hours. And when I came on deck at 4am, a lovely NE wind at 11 knots that has changed everything. The genoa and main went up before coffee.

Sunup delivered an open sky with three heavy squalls to leeward. And nothing to windward but cherubic cumulus, leant over just enough to suggest we might make way today under sail for some time.

“You will note those heretics they are to leeward, Senior,” said Monte with a wink. He was already halfway through an omelet so golden as to make my mouth tringle with envy. Omelets are not on the provisions list.

“I was unaware we had spinach and feta aboard,” I said.

“You are unaware of a good many things, Senior,” he replied. “For one, you sleep too much.” And with that he turned to face the wind.

Under a steady, dry deck I was quite productive, but still found ample opportunity to stare off into my own wild, blue yonder.

A powdery blue sky. Small herds of cumulus grazing off the minimal heat radiating upwards. A cobalt blue ocean, a prairie of sea in all directions without interruptions or limits. A light, steady, empowering wind. And Mo, charging. Or is it that Mo is still and the ocean, conveyor belt-like, reels under her for an eternity?

I know no better definition of heaven. Except maybe one that includes omelets.

Overnight a ship passed within two miles, notable only because I see a ship on the chart plotter every other night or so but this is the first whose lights were visible since departing the San Francisco bar.

Breakfast, a hotcake with peanut butter and jelly, and then another with the last decrepit bananna. The fresh vegetables are holding up well, with the exception of the apples, a third of which have given up the will to live before the zucchini look the least bit stressed.

4 Comments on “An Escape is Made to the South

Leave a Reply