World ARC Day 4 -12th Jan – A Beautiful Light

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Tue 12 Jan 2016 19:49
12:55N 68:24W

World ARC Day 4 -12th Jan – A Beautiful Light

The forecast was for a fair wind in our sea area. Big seas to the North. A low over Colombia and Venezuela, giving big winds ahead. Just after darkness fell, a brand new moon loomed ahead above the horizon. The bottom half of it showing a huge Cheshire cat grin, lighting our path over the Caribbean Sea ahead of Nina.

The Celestial Bodies
As the moon set ahead, the grin turned red, and then slid below the horizon, leaving us once more in the pitch darkness. But then the stars came out. With not a cloud in the sky, the full majesty of all the stars is displayed filling the heavens with swirls, dots, pin-pricks and bursts of many different coloured suns. The milky way, like a cloud or carpet, painted across the sky from one side of the boat to the other. Satellites winking and flashing brighter than most of the others in various shades of blue and pink stand out against the other stars, looking different and more artificial.
We can pick out the better known constellations, others need the help of an App on the pad (a fantastic creation, really!) We can even see and identify spotty dog, Dino the Dinosaur, and the Christmas Tree, as discovered and identified during the Atlantic crossing. Yes Peter, Mark, Chris, Frank and Mike, they are till up there! I had difficulty finding the shopping trolley? Perhaps its been returned to Tesco (although other supermarkets are available).
Occasional shooting stars complete the picture, to allow wishes to be made.........

Twelve knots of wind, slightly South of East dictated our course, as we sailed wing-on-wing into the west and the New Moon.
A few hours after darkness fell, the tide turned, giving 1 ½ knots of help in our direction. The change became dramatic. The waves reduced, then calmed, then vanished, as the wind and tide collaborated to give a glassy sea, and we had to check the instruments sometimes, to make sure we were still sailing, Nina gliding through the sea at 6 ½ knots with only a faint wooshing and lapping.

A fantastic phenomenon became apparent.
Down the sides of the boat in the sea, where the water was parted and tumbled down the sides of Nina, flashes and spots of blue light were created. Some larger than others, some lasting for quite some seconds, they lit the sea.
At the stern it was even more wondrous.
The sides and stern collaborated to give a carpet of blue lights whooshing away in our wake. The deeper wash from our keel and rudder, giving a brighter and more concentrated 3D effect, as the crystal clear sea fled from our stern. Nina was riding along on a magic carpet of blue light.

A superb gift of a night for a watch.........