Good Call Al

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 12 Jun 2011 03:14

Noon Position: 23 28.5 S 169 44.0 E
West sou' west, Speed: 5 knots
North nor' east, F3 gentle breeze
Overcast, warm
Day's run: 95 miles

At 5 this morning I awoke to a dream. Al Pacino was steering Sylph, there was a huge swell running, the wind was rising and we were heading for mainland Australia, only a few miles away. We needed to alter course. Al called down to me, he wanted to know what to do. I came on deck and it was obvious we had to get rid of the drifter and change course. Naturally when I woke up I thought I had better check on deck to see what was going on. From below I could tell that the wind had picked up a little, but nothing to worry about. On deck I could see some flashes of lightning in the distance, again nothing to cause any concern, there is often a bit of lightning in the distance in the tropics at night, all the humidity and energy undoubtedly builds up a bit of static in the atmosphere. But I thought I will play it safe, the sky was starting to cloud over and we were off course to the south a little ways: so I set the mainsail, dropped the drifter, gybed and adjusted course back to the desired heading. As I sat on the foredeck clearing lines away the breeze certainly felt fresher and I thought was definitely borderline for the drifter. “Good call Al,” I thought to myself, but in truth no great premonition seems to have unfolded, no doubt my unconscious was a simply little concerned at the increase in wind and wanted to wake me up. What better messenger then Al Pacino to grab one's attention, in fact a little bit of overkill I would say, and definitely not as romantic as Josh Slocum's encounter with the pilot of the Pinta while crossing the Atlantic.

We have been running square under reefed mainsail and headsail for much of the day but the wind has now dropped off again and backed more into the north so now we are beam reaching under all plain sail.

It has been cloudy most of today, consequently missed stars this morning but it is now starting to clear so I might jump up on deck and grab a sun.

All is well.