Romping along. The Pro's and Con's

Paul Huntley
Tue 2 Jun 2009 12:47

38:36N 40:06W

Libertad Tuesday 2nd June 2009

Good mooring all you blog watchers, 

I am getting e-mails asking for more regular blogs, you are gluttons for punishment! Tuesday morning and I have just been relieved by Mordecai on watch so thought I would do a short update.

Horta is now a little more than five hundred miles away, the forecast wind that was promised last night arrived in the early hours of the morning and has been steadily increasing from 12/15 knts to 20/25kts. The main and genoa have deep reefs balancing the rig for a beam reach.

We have seen a couple of ships during the night. The Mersk Trader popped up over the horizon at 21:30 ,I called him up on VHF and chatted for a while about the ARC fleet ahead of him.Another  cargo vessel cruised by in the early hours heading west passing down our starboard side.

The seas are now building back to four meters plus, sweeping up from the south. Sleep for those with leeward bunks comes quickly, for those on the weather side it is similar to sleeping on the edge of a precipice, even when sleeping you have to hold on. The waves come in patterns but every so often that rogue comes along with a crash and you momentarily experience weightlessness as you levitate several inches above your bunk.

What follows are some pointless scribbling whilst on watch last night that I thought I might share with you.

                                                                                                                        THE WAVE

A greeting or farewell from loved ones or just good friends, not final, but "au revoir, see you soon."That last wave when departing through that soulless, electronic portal found at even the smallest airport, stealing that final glimpse or tearful wave, we are but mortal.

When ships depart the streamers break, that last link gone forever, for some a final wave when off to distant lands. The liner heads to sea, the voyage begun, passengers are left with their own, quiet, individual thoughts of what they’ve left behind. The land recedes, the sea fills the horizon, the ship comes alive as she meets the swell. Her wave!

The waves at sea so close to me that now are gentle soothing, rocking, and its caress benign.

I know the other face of this fickle foe, when it joins forces with the wind, this symbiotic pair will ferment a powerful force that every sailor fears.

These waves have come from distant shores or perhaps a subterranean ocean floor, welling up from depths below to join the currents circumnavigating our globe. They range in unison with winds that blow uninterrupted by mountain, hill or vale. Drawing energy from the sea, this summer breeze in warmer equatorial times will begin its dervish dance, rotating slowly, gaining force with every spin, it now becomes a threat to those on sea and land, and we name these beasts a hurricane, cyclone or just a blow. To track its destructive course we name them Helena or Katrina, a calming friendly name disguises their true intent. To landfall now where it will wreak havoc , the energy now deprived at source its anger soon subsides..

These waves they roam the seas unchecked in unison with wind and tide they blow these monsters into mountains high. Some are bold some are shy the hide behind the bigger crests to leap out and surprise, they climb on deck and curl around to find their way straight down your neck. The bold will come full on, roaring, spume along the deck, its destructive force is gone, and it rolls away in search of other prey. 

There is one wave feared by all, it is of course the rouge! These devils roam the seas in search if ship or land to vent it's worth and die that angry death but once. Should you be in its path beware, they show no mercy to the unprepared. 

Sorry for that just thinking out loud!

Best wishes Paul