Location: 29°50.402S’, 163°30.447E’
Day 5 at sea.
Looks like we’re sitting on the north end of a nice fat high pressure system. High pressure systems are great; they generally mean light winds and clear skies. Not always conducive to getting any sailing done, but very pleasant, much like a chatty, loafing co-worker. So our rip-roarin’ start to the trip fizzled out (can we do away with the phrase “Peter out”, please?) after four days of zippy sailing and left us with fair winds and flat seas. Farewell 159 mile days! The crew busied themselves with the three S’s of flat-water life: swimming, sudoku, and showering. Transom showers are a little precarious. One has to make sure to soap up backside and feet separately, lest all traction between body and deck be lost and the bather go shooting into the sea!
We flew the spinnaker for a few hours and ghosted along aimlessly as the winds calmed. Sailors generally whinge about squalls and cloud lines, but they usually are associated with wind, and give the world out here some depth. Today nothing marred the view all the way out to the horizon in all directions. I felt like an owl spinning my head in circles trying to take in the unblemished panorama. With no frame of reference it feels like Tayrona is bobbing happily in one spot with the sea passing under her keels like the current in a bank-less river.
Winds abated further. Moving at three knots is infuriating so I did a little swimming off the bows, floating between the hulls as the boat sailed over. Appropriate safety measures and adult supervision were in place, I assure you. We are getting perilously close to Australia though, and the thought crossed my mind that the big sharks over there probably can swim to over here. I didn’t dally in the water.
I did run a line and float off the back to grab onto while swimming. It’s a little spooky watching the boat sail away from you, even for a short distance. Sometimes Tayrona seems like a neat toy, maybe a car or a fort. But watching it cruise away at a deceivingly fast four knots re-instilled my appreciation for her protective nature. She’s always taking care of us, fighting off waves, shrugging off wind, clutching tenaciously to some sketchy bottom in an anchorage… It’s fun pretending to be a tough sailor-man, but when things get ugly out here, she’s the one taking the brunt of the weather for us while we hide inside and eat popcorn.
Another beaming sunset lit up concentric rings of color off the bow like a navigational bullseye. “Go west young man!” Slow fade into a starry night and now a moonrise just a few minutes ago. Going to go make some popcorn. It’s not just for inclement weather anymore.