Under 500 miles to go!

Sat 22 Dec 2007 13:30
Noon position 16.56N 52.42W   Saturday 22nd December 2007
As I am writing this my guess is that many of you are waking up with hangovers after Xmas drinks last night, ours is on hold until Boxing Day but you may not hear from us for a day or  two after we arrive, as there is a fair bit of drinking to catch up on.
Seems like we are just around the corner from St Lucia, but prior to this passage the longest sailing trip I had ever undertaken was 550 miles, many people sail for years and do not do any passages over 100 miles. In other words still a way to go. Weather forecast is light to moderate winds from approx the right direction, currently just 3 miles off of the rhumb line to our next waypoint at the middle of the St Lucia/Martinique Channel. We are back in ketch mode with full main, mizzen and most of the genoa out catching the 15-18 knot wind that is on our port quarter, and pushing us along at about 5-6 knots.
Major moonshine last night, fullish moon was with us all night, and lights up the sky to an extent that townies would not believe. Compared to the star shows that we had earlier in the passage the change is amazing, there are now only the very bright stars and planets visable against the moons overwhelming brightness. Mars and Venus continue to be clearly visable but many of the constellations that I was becoming familiar with are not currently visable. When the moon sets it goes down with a bang! I last saw it so clearly on passage down to Weymouth, on watch with Tom McCarthy, a few years ago, as then an enourmous orange ball appeared  where the moon was, and dissappeared in a flash!
Had a delightful musical watch, listening to early vocal church music on the MP3 player, last heard in a wonderfully ornate 17th Centuary church in Tavira, Portugal, a few weeks ago, and I was transported back there by the music. Despite roaring through the ocean, I was back in the beauty of that moment in Tavira, so I guess there are many ways to travel!!