Once the moon sets, there's really nothing to see
except stars and the glow of the instruments. You can't even see the sea on
either side of the boat. So, when at 6am I heard a loud splash in an otherwise
calm sea, my imagination started to furnish all sorts of sinister companions.
Moments later there was another splash followed by what can only be described as
something breathing out loudly. A right whale? Kraken? Frogmen??
After an hour or so, the sun began to rise in the
east, and I could just make out a pair of inquisitive dolphins jumping alongside
the boat before the pushed off. Other than a distant trawler, this was the
really the only company we had all night. We're just over halfway across Biscay,
bound for Santander. We've just finished the last of our bacon, the fishing
lines are out for tuna or other big beasts of the sea and Alex is
dancing away in the cockpit to a CD.
Alex did the toughest part of the night watches -
the first from 8 to 11 and the graveyard shift from 2 to 5. Not that much
happened. The wind started coming from everywhere at once at about 5am, then
disappeared without trace. We're now motoring along at a steady 5 knots, hoping
for some sailing weather. It's another gloriously sunny day, and we might pause
for a swim in water 3000m deep shortly.
We spent a really relaxing three days in St Martin
de Re - almost outrageously picturesque and full of Parisians. We also spent a
day in La Rochelle, where we divided our time equally between eating and trying
to buy boat equipment. I'm sure the three mediaeval towers and numerous
cloisters and churches are tremendously interesting. It's just that we didn't do
more than walk past any of them. On the other hand I can name the working parts
of a windlass in excrutiating detail... and in French now.
More news as the fish land...
St Martin de Re
under a concrete wave in La Rochele