ARC 2015 - Day 7 - Nov 28, Sea and Stars

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Sun 29 Nov 2015 20:34
21:25.18N 28:05.95W

Day 7 - Nov 28

The early morning watch decides on a jibe as the wind has backed, and Nina, on a sullen grey sea, is rolling morosely. So we jibed. And then decide to goosewing as the little wind we have is directly astern. Chris and Mike rig the spinnaker pole to pole out the jib. This takes us a while, and after some fine tuning to ensure no chafing of ropes, settle down to reap the benefits of our labours. The wind promptly dies completely.

The next hour is spent adjusting sails in every possible combination to try to take advantage of any passing zephyr, of which there are a few, none of which last more than a couple of minutes. End result, one sweaty crew and zero miles achieved. We begin to feel that the wind gods are having a laugh at our expense. Eventually, the wind does pick up a bit so the rig goes back to what it was at the start of the watch. Isn't sailing such a rewarding passion!

Lunch of tomato soup (continuing our tomato-themed cuisine week) accompanied by bread, cheese, tomatoes and dolphins.

We started our fishing this evening, trolling out an extremely attractive sqidley of little rubber squids. We also play some Coldplay. Net result:- Dolphins. We had no idea Dolphins like Coldplay! That was the end of our fishing, and the start of an interesting experiment!

Dusk on a quiet sea with just enough wind to maintain steerage way. Once the sun has set, absolute darkness descends - moonrise comes a while later. We are in a rich warm blackness, in a silence punctuated only by the quiet ripple of water from our bow wave and whispering along the side of the hull. In the black velvet night sky above us, there is an explosion of stars. To our generations brought up under the glare of streetlights and headlamps, this is a new and strange universe. We can see innumerable stars scattered across the whole dome above us. The Milky Way is a smear of silicon dust across the heavens.

There are so many stars that we cannot pick out our favourite, familiar constellations - Orion, Ursa Major, Polaris - they are crowded out by this profusion of beauty. No camera we have can record this amazing view - we just have to carry the beauty of this night sky in our memories.

Later, we punctuate the silence with Bach's Brandenberg Concertos, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and a cup of tea.