A privilege

Sun 10 Feb 2013 21:29
13:22.06N 53:52.72W

Let me paint you a picture.

It's 4:30 am, I'm kneeling up on a cushion in the entrance to the companionway, holding on to the pilot house roof, shorts and teeshirt in the warm night air. It's my watch and there isn't a soul awake for hundreds of miles. The huge sky above me is scattered with stars. To starboard, with the Great Bear pointing down to it, the pole star hangs, dim and low on the horizon. To port the bright pointers show the way to the Southern Cross. As I look up to check the wind finder on the top of the mast a shooting star streaks the sky. I've Phil's iPod in my pocket, headphones on and Oysterband are playing, drums and fiddles accompanying our gallop up and down the hills of this huge bowl of ocean. I look ahead, under the twin sails, moving with the boat as she pitches and rolls, seeing the waves break rhythmically on our bow and stream phosphorescence either side of us. I am like a charioteer, like a stage coach driver, like a roller coaster rider, but in a world of superlatives.

Let me paint you another picture.

It's afternoon, the wind has dropped a little, we've slowed and the motion had calmed. We're sleepy tired with the heat and sunshine but the foredeck is in shadow from the headsails so we retreat there, curled up on sail bags with books till the draw of the cool sea swooshing by with each wave brings us to dangle our legs over the side, willing the warm, smooth, unbelievably crystal clear yet bright blue water to splash up to our feet. A little later there are others sharing the pleasure of our bow wave: spotted dolphins, pantropical we think, spending a few minutes with us before moving on to do the things that dolphins do.

What a privilege to be here.

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