April 14, 2019
Noon Position: 20 22S 22 08W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): NWxN 6
Wind(t/tws): ENE 10 – 15
Sea(t/ft): ENE 5
10ths Cloud Cover: 0
Bar(mb): 1018, falling ever so slowly
Cabin Temp(f): 86
Water Temp(f): 82
Relative Humidity(%): 68
Sail: Working jib and main, close reaching, starboard
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 135
Miles since departure: 26,052
Avg. Miles/Day: 136
Leg North Days: 25
Leg North Miles: 3,102
Avg. Miles/Day: 124
If you like blue, this is your place. Under a broad sun, the ocean is a field of undulating sapphire with such texture and richness that the eye searches its depths longingly for it knows not what. I stand at the weather rail, ostensibly studying cloud in an attempt to ferret out the next squall. But in fact, I am staring into the blue yonder; hypnotized by blue, bathing in blue.
I scoop it up for cleaning dishes expecting to bucket blue, but the blue escapes the bucket.
Always and forever right there and out of reach, the big blue.
I’m struggling to balance Mo today. Same old story. Wind fluctuates. I reef after hours of being heeled so much I pull a couple Gs just sitting here. The wind drops. After an hour of this, I pop the reef. Wind jumps.
I’ve opted to stay over-canvased. We do a steady six knots with here and there touches of seven.
Not a bird today. For a week the only bird species I’ve seen is the Atlantic variant of the White Chinned petrel, which was our constant companion in the south and one of my favorites.
The White Chinned gives the unmatched grace of the Wanderer a run for its money. Small by comparison (in overall size, just smaller than a Western Seagull), they are stocky, compact and efficient gliders and live in a covering of chocolate brown feathers, save a tiny spot of white, a stinger, just under the bill.
In the south, they would often accompany Mo all day in groups of three to five and would frequently swoop in close over the radar tower to examine the odd gesticulations of her passanger (I was just saying hello).
The Atlantic variant is quite different. For one thing, it sports a mask of white that gives the impression it is wearing a Batman costume. For another, it usually travels alone. Yesterday near sundown a group of five played around the boat for a time, a first. None at all today is also a first. We may be exiting their range.
It is strange, this lack of bird life here after the recent months of avian fellowship. If we were northing in the Pacific, the Cook Islands would soon hove into view. The “kreck” of Tropic Birds would call me on deck. Boobies would be competing for night accommodations on the rail.
But I guess that’s the difference. We’ve not passed close to any islands, as yet.