Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dec 11th, 22:05

We're 4 miles off Cabo Corrientoes, the most SW point of the Bahia de Banderas. Nic has just gone below to nap, so I am standing watch. Alone. My first solo night watch! This is a totally new experience for me. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little spooked by the idea, but it does help that the seas are pretty calm. There's virtually no wind, so we're motor sailing with just the main. Also, the moon is out - a waxing crescent, which is enought to illuminate the ocean and outline the mountains to port. Nic harnessed me in to.. WHOA! Another one! Every once and a while, a HUGE glowing mass travels across the water. The phosphorescence revealing something's path. We've seen lots of dolphins zipping around the boat, but these lights are different - more diffuse, deeper (?) and generated by a much larger body in motion, seemingly larger than Sula. It's not hard to imagine these lights are created by whales as we've seen them so frequently. Whether it's a whale or a school of fish, it's difficult to tell. But it's really incredible to see all of this action around you in the middle of the ocean at night.

6:38 a.m. Nic came up around 1 a.m. and I fell into bed. Nic had a great watch. Lots of wind, some big waves, dolphins and shooting stars. When I went to bed, Orion was overhead, now he's setting to starbord.Sirus is 20 degrees above the horizon and Venus is brilliant off the port bow. For a while, it felled in for the moon, lighting up the sea. And now, the sky is just starting to brighten as the Sun approaches the horizon. 6:59 a.m. No more stars. Just Venus. The Sun is coming up ahead in the SE. I can see the horizon all around us now. Some nice rolling swell pushing us towards our destination. We just hit 7.3 kn! This has been one of the most exciting and beautiful experiences. I'm thinking a lot of my family and their off-shore adventures. Cedar in 20 ft swells off the Bahamas, steering through the waves while listening to the Chieftans, and Harmony, sailing to Costa Rica and then doing a trans-Atlantic.. I've waited a long time for this.

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