Nick's view from the night watch

Paul Huntley
Sun 30 Nov 2008 12:05
A tap on the shoulder wakes me from my fitfull sleep and vidid dreams and signifies the start of my time on night watch The only light in the cabin comes form the instrument panel so I grope around for my lifejacket and another layer of clothing and noiselessly climb the companionway to the cockpit and take my position under the stars. With no light polution there are millions of stars to gaze at above. The old favourites are there like the plough and the bear. The shooting stars have lost some of their novelty now and only sound comes from the odd flap of the sails and the bow wave crashing away from the hull and dissolving into the spume. Suddenly there's an odd sound behind in the scuppers like that of a trapped moth. A flying fish has landed on deck and is flapping it's wings trying to get airbourne while gasping for air or water? Night watch is a time for solitary reflection and meditiation. There is little to concentrate the mind on the water with no lights from nearby yatchs to monitor. A faint glow over the port quarter indicates that a nother day is about to begin and my shift on watch is coming to an end. Now it's my turn to deliver the tap on the shoulder and return to my bunk for a short nap before breakfast. And Libertad ploughs on. Till next time lots of love to you all. Nick