Close to land

Tue 12 Feb 2013 20:31
13:02.1N 59:10.2W

There's a smudge under the cloud ahead. OK, there's a smudge under the cloud behind too, but the one ahead stays there, instead of melting away and moving, and every 15 minutes or so, when we look again, it's easier to spot. Land.

There's been other signs. As well as Arthur the Tropic Bird visiting us we've seen other birds. Some we don't recognise, sea gull type birds, but also two Boobies, the New World's version of Gannets, lovely big diving sea birds. They are friendlier than Gannets, flying low over the boat, keeping pace with us not just circling, but, like Gannets, they dive beautifully, tucking back their wings as they accelerate down, timing it carefully so they can slip the ends of their wings over their eyes just before they break through the surface.

The VHF has burst into life occasionally, we'd heard nothing for days, and we saw a ship on AIS and another big one by sight. Earlier today a smaller motor boat, perhaps a private fishing boat, perhaps a patrol boat, appeared over the horizon, came towards us until it was about half a mile away then disappeared off again.

We're just 15 miles from land now, not far to go. Then we'll have done it, we'll have sailed across an ocean. The Cava's in the fridge.

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