Atlantic crossing 8
Fri 1 Dec 2006 20:01
remember it till my last breath. Brother Vic did the 8 to 12 watch,then it
was my turn. It was great sitting and chatting on deck till Victor turned
in. The weather was near perfect. Our course had just taken us onto the
Cape Verde Abyssal Plain, a deep area of the ocean stretching for the next
two hundred miles before the mountains rise up again to become the Islands.
Its difficult to describe how I felt without becoming slushy and poetic.
Thisbe looked totally stunning, her twin headsails held out like great
translucent wings against the moonlight filtering through the low cloud. The
wind was strong enough to waft us along at about 5 knots, but not enough to
kick up any white water. A feeling of total and utter contentment came over
me, seeing bro Vic on his feet, our little coracle, over which I had labored
so long to make good, balanced on a column of water over five thousand
meters deep, black as ink. The warm wind blowing over us, all the way from
seething Africa, carrying with it the faintest wiff of tropical vegitation.
The moons rays slanting down onto the sea in the distance, the odd star
gleaming through the gaps in the clouds. The sky never stays the same for
long in these latitudes, and it wasn't long before the clouds parted
revealed the strangely truncated moon in all its glory, followed by hundreds
of stars appearing on the blue black stage. Suffice to say that the new
depth to the perception triggered another flood of wonderful thoughts, about
brave humans drifting through the blackness of space, the only creatures on
the planet aware of their own mortality, feeding only on hope and humour.
Long held beliefs that we are part of the end result of millions of years of
evolution, the result perfect order in endless repetition, are called into
question again. It was all here long before we existed, and will be for
long after we are gone. We are starting to feel the effects of the true
trade winds, every day the wind is blowing slightly more from the east
making it difficult to press on in a southerly direction without changing
the rig, and going across the waves rather than with them. I am keen to go
at least another two hundred miles south before turning west to gain the
full advantage of the trades. Our waypoint of 20N 30W, 313 miles away,
could be bypassed I guess, and just head straight for St Lucia, but we may
be forced to go south again later when it could be even more difficult. I
have decided to stick with it for another 36 hours and see.
This is all so fulfilling, people climb mountains and endure tremendous
hardships to get this feeling, we look for it in drink, drugs, love, sex,
and whatever else, but it is always tantalisingly just out of reach, the
only way is by grunt, its natures way of making us go that extra mile I
guess. Friday evening, writing this in my bunk, darkness has just come, we
have just finished fixing another breakage, the casting on the end of a
twistle pole broke, drifting along on a warm breeze at 5 knts, course 251.
Chafe is already becoming a problem and we will have to give everything a
good going over tomorrow. What a day. Manny
Alex is going to add a few of his own diary entries now and again. No 1 is