And Lighter

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 5 Apr 2016 01:57
Noon position: 08 46.2 S 175 48.4 W
Course: South West Speed: kn4ots
Wind: East sou’ east, F1 – Light air
Sea: calm Swell: Various, 1 m
Weather: sunny, hot
Day’s run: 65 nm

The wind is now as light as can be, ie, total calm. There has been the occasional puff and I have attempted to set sail to it, but it has proven a fruitless activity. I have done a fair bit of motoring, six hours last night until 0100, and another six this morning from 0600. Between 0100 and 0600 I slept. I tried to sail briefly this forenoon but the weak trickle of air only lasted a half hour before drying up, so we continue to motor. I hope we will get at least a little bit of useful wind over the next few days as Sylph does not carry enough fuel to motor the remaining 700 nm to Fiji.

Not all is bleak, the highlight of this mornings calm was being joined by a pod of dolphins. In the calm conditions I could see well down into the depths as they swam and cavorted around Sylph’s bow. A small juvenile remained in close formation with what was clearly its mother, immediately under her tail. They variously darted and zigzagged and dived into the depths. In the clear waters I could easily distinguish individual markings on their sleek streamlined bodies. Nearly all of them carried scars of some description, one in particular was covered in many, presumably from a boat’s propeller, another had what looked like a hole in its flank, about an inch in diameter and a half inch deep, perhaps a healed cyst. One was moving slower than the others, less playful, staying off to one side and merely keeping up with the pack, perhaps elderly or unwell. Pleasure and pain. Life.

The smooth calm seas ride restlessly on undulating swells, coming from several directions at once. I can discern two major swells, one from the north east, another from the south, and perhaps another from the west, so the ocean does not so much roll as heave, with pale blue glassy hillocks rising and falling out of nowhere, in no apparent order. At one point as I was standing on deck watching the dolphins play around Sylph’s bow and a smooth set of swells rolled past, steeper and more even than all the others around us, like we were going over a shoal, though the water is five kilometres deep here. The dolphins sensed the presence of the steeper waves immediately. They peeled off from the bow and took advantage of the moment to ride the crests, leaping in and out of them.

Now they have left us to continue to wherever they are going. Sylph and I also continue.

695 nm to Fiji, 2,445 to Sydney.

All is well.