Day 16 Noon Position 14:08.306N 56:46.625W
Bill and Judy Stellin
Sun 16 Dec 2007 15:00
One more day and we will be in Barbados. About 160 miles to go. Since we are regularly doing 24 hour periods of about 170 miles, we will be in port about this same time tomorrow.
Incidentally, Noon Position reports are always at 1200 hours UTC (Universal Time).
Weather is now hot. I spent my nighttime watches in just a bathing suit and tee shirt. Even in the middle of summer in Michigan, Lake Michigan at night can be downright cold.
One of the faculties sailors develop is a good sense of hearing. There are always odd sounds on a boat. Creaks groans, sighs, moans, cluncks, bangs, you name it, they occur and usually at night.
I remember when the boom vang tackle let go, it was a horrendous bang.
Even little things like a jam jar or little pitcher slowly rocking back and forth in a cabinet can sound like holy hell.
I am always listening for anything that sounds odd or out of place. My fear of course is that the rig may be starting to come down, or some other fanciful worry.
Last night as an example, I heard what sounded like a crack or snap right and behind my head. There is nothing there that could break so I sort of ignored it. After a minute or so I thought maybe is wasn't a crack or snap because on reflection, it sounded more like a smack or thwack. I fought the motion of the boat and the darkness to look at the deck behind me and here was a flying fish trying mightily for a take off.
This fish was one of at least a dozen that came n board. Judy was hit in the shoulder by one and she still smells a little fishy on her right side.
Almost all that board us are the larger variety.
These guys went crazy last night. The running lights would pick out something airborne almost constantly.
Considering how singularly unsuccessful I've been, it is only fitting, these little fellow would gladly give up their lives for us so as to not make us look so bad as fishermen.
Understandably, Judy is a little jumpy after her fish attack so I guess it was only natural she would scream that a leech had fallen on her chest and for me to pick it off.
In all this mayhem, it never occured to us, this was the Atlantic ocean not the Amazon river.
Gingerly I picked off, what turned out to be the broken back half of her sun glass bows. We were relieved. It's amazing what tricks your mind play on you after 16 days of this life.
Ah, it will end soon and in some respects I will be sorry. It takes several days to adjust to the life at sea, but I am now well adjusted as far as sleep and we've discovered some easy rig changes to accomodate the changing wind speeds. The wind has never veered from ENE to E to
ESE. Most of the time it has been out of the east. Never have we sailed so long with the boom not in the middle of the cockpit. We almost forget we have one, which could be fatal if it jibed and we were not looking.
What have we learned over the past 16 days, probably not much new, just a chance to hone skills we've practiced time and time again. As far as our own personal relationship goes, 16 days isn't going to change 45 years of marriage.
As usual, All is well on board.