Date:June 15, 2016, 4 a.m.
Position:13 59.00 S, 153 20.00 E

We smashed out a whopping 165 miles under sail today. Even better, the 25-knot winds held so steady that we didn’t have to touch the sail trim or the Monitor for the entire 24-hour period. We stayed pegged right on course. It almost felt like we were cheating. I took full advantage and caught up on my rest as the boat surfed over the seas. It’s getting warmer now as we sail into the low-teen latitudes, and this afternoon when the cabin was closed up the heat down below was stifling. Cracking the forward hatch even an inch open in these conditions would lead to an inevitable 20-30 gallons of saltwater pouring in. The nights are cool and pleasant, and we spend the hot days under the protection of the shade awning. We don’t wear a scrap of clothes.

We’re sailing over the Coral Sea basin now, a flat area of sea-bed about 15-16,000 feet deep. The only way I can describe the color of the water is Electric Purple, like that flavor of Gatorade that you want to try but know you probably shouldn’t. When the sun hits behind the cresting wave tops, it turns the tips of the purple waves a deep emerald blue, like the ice in the glaciers of Alaska. It’s a stunning combo. To round out the picture, several dozen dolphins cruised just under the electric purple crystal swells and torpedoed their way around the boat for an hour or so. Looking back in our wake, one dolphin was leaping and making back-flips and cartwheels as the sun went low on the horizon.

I’m always amazed by the variety of oceanscapes, and how one area of the ocean feels completely different than the other. It’s like walking through a forest: you’re always in the trees, but you can walk 1/2 hour down the trail and the entire aspect of the forest will change from friendly to gloomy, from scary to familiar. The oceanscape changes constantly in a similar manner, and it is for this reason that I will never got tired of sailing across the endless, shifting horizons.

Each night we pull the moon back a little further in the sky and have it for an extra hour or so on the night watch. Taz is so proud of himself every time he spies the moon. He’s always the first one on board to spot it rising each day. “MOOOEY!” he shouts with a stiffened arm and pointing little finger quivering to touch the moon. As I write, the moon is setting, beaming shafts and patches of eerie light down on the ocean. It’s like a UFO searchlight, quietly scanning the surface of some distant unknown place.

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