Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sights and sounds of Night Watch

3 AM The golden sliver of the moon is rising on the horizon behind Rhapsody. I can see the handle of the Big Dipper sticking up from the horizon off the starboard side of the boat, the bowl of the dipper is below the horizon. The Southern Cross is visible off the port side of the boat. Bob woke me at 2:30 to begin my watch. I was in a deep sleep and it took him a while to rouse me. This is unusual for me, usually on passage I wake easily, but I was deep in a very strange dream.
The incessant rumble of the engine was turned off yesterday so now I hear only the sounds of sailing. The water sounds almost like a soft surf breaking on the beach, changing to a quieter lapping sound as the winds slow. When the sails are full they create no sound, but in lower winds they fill and collapse, creating a sharp thwapping sound as they fill again. Simultaneously the boom creaks, a soft metallic sound similar to a creaky door. The autopilot emits a quiet whine every time it adjusts the wheel, which is approximately once every three seconds. The wheel is moving back and forth with every whine of the autopilot. Little movements, back and forth, constant motion. I am so grateful that I can lie back and watch the autopilot work, rather than having to sit at the helm making the constant adjustments myself.

The winds are fluctuating between 7-10 knots and our current boat speed is about 5 knots. Yesterday we were getting more consistent winds at about 10-12 knots and were able to maintain closer to 7 knots of speed. The waves are gentle, just a slight side to side motion although I can't see them in the dark. Occasionally some bioluminescent sparkles appear as our wake stirs up the water.

5:30 AM My favorite time of night watch. The slightest of pink glow is appearing in the sky, only the brightest of the stars are now visible and the moon is higher in the sky and less golden in color. Slowly the pink is spreading across the horizon and glowing behind the clouds. The wind is slowing still, causing the sails to snap harder when they fill. It is a rather disconcerting sound, time to adjust the sails and bring them in a bit so there is less sailcloth out to snap.

Just over 2600 miles to go.

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Anita Motard said...

Love love love reading your posts! Sending lots of positive energy your way. Travel safe my friend.

Sarah said...

Thanks! Love the feedback.