'Who knows when we'll get another morning like this?'
Matt's been at the helm now going on four hours. We started our watch at 0300, and it was supposed to end at 0600. That transition from night to day is the most magical time offshore, and I think he wants to prolong that as long as possible. Or maybe it's just that he drank a cup of coffee and is all jazzed up (he's normally. to a coffee guy). At any rate, he's extended his watch voluntarily. My dad, who's up next, remains asleep in the vee berth, snoring.
Our timing was perfect. I awoke to the sound of the engine shutting down. All night we'd been motoring through the center of the big high pressure system that cleared out the rain we had upon departing Lunenburg, and which gave us those brisk northerly winds a few days ago. Since then the breeze eased off until by last evening it disappeared altogether. The water was oily calm yesterday at sunset, the colors reflecting on the undulating surface such that it gave the impression that the ocean was made of mercury. Or that metal the Terminator comes from. Mia and Rachel were able to set sail again at 0300. Matt & I were the beneficiaries when they went back to sleep.
We ate chili for dinner last night. I made it, and it's sort enough become one of my specialties. Three different kinds of beans, some ground beef, lots of herbs & spices. Thick enough to eat with a fork, and served over Jasmine rice cooked in one-half part seawater to add just the right touch of saltiness. We eat from these large, deep dishes, 'dog bowls' as we call them, from the Galleyware company. They're great dishes offshore because they keep everything contained. It's just hard to judge how much food you're serving. They are deceivingly big.
The large bowl of chili I ate last night was the culmination of a day-long snack binge. Two veggie wraps at like 1am, two hurricane eggs around 10, two more wraps for lunch in he early afternoon, a few handfuls of nuts & raisins, some corn chips, lots of dark chocolate and my green smoothie mix. Perhaps it was because we missed dinner the night before, but at any rate I had the munchies. It was far too much food for a single day, even if I had expended some extra energy climbing the rig (I got some sweet photos from the masthead yesterday afternoon), and I went to bed with an uncomfortably full belly, burping up the taste of Tabasco until I fell asleep.
We've officially passed the halfway point, at least in terms of sea miles. As of 0600 today, we've covered 400 miles through the water - that's pretty good going, with only 8 hours or so of motoring, and mostly in a straight line. But we're on the other side of that High now, and the southerly has finally filled in, ruffling our Terminator water and filling the sails again. We're sailing fast, but are close-hauled, and not quite laying our course, so it remains to be seen if we're actually past the real halfway point. We may just end up tacking our way to Cape May, and that'll certainly slow things down and add some mileage.
But man does Isbjörn sail! Matt asked if he was going to be spoiled spending so much time on our boat. At the time we were sailing 7 knots upwind in 10 knots of breeze. 'Yes,' I said, 'you will be spoiled!' I'm more content with each mile sailed that we bought the right boat (though in reality I never doubted it).
Rachel just stirred in her pilot berth bunk on the high side, and my dad finally woke from his slumber and is outside with Matt. Mia's still passed out in the aft cabin, her mouth wide open and her arms stretched up over her head. As the sun warms up, the crew will wake up. Another day at sea.
Until next time...