Easing Along

Date: Jan. 21, 2017, noon Position: 27 25.22 S, 9 13.58 E

Privateer glides across the blue plains, like a paper plane riding on a gentle breeze. Today the winds and seas mellowed out, as forecast, and we shook out the reefs. Dry decks, hatches open, easy motion, happy sailors!! It almost feels like cheating after all of the challenging sailing across the Indian Ocean and South African coast. We’ve got a perfect 13 knot breeze and more of the same in the long-range forecast. Yes!!!!

This morning we found several more squid with their strange blue eyes on deck, and a few robust flying fish too. The waters have gone back to a deep crystal blue, as we are now sailing over depths of 15,000 feet plus again. We haven’t seen any on the horizon since leaving Cape Town, but we’re always checking because we’re astride the Cape Town to New York route.

Neptune is the perfect watch mate, always getting out of bed before his watch. I give him parameters to stay within while I sleep, so I know he will wake me if anything goes awry while I am off-watch. We’re both getting a lot of sleep. Double-handed sailing is largely a solo experience, because most often the off-watch goes to sleep.

It’s a great feeling to have all the time in the world with these easy watches. I’ve been catching up on small boat maintenance projects and reading a book by a fellow sailor we just met, about sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with his wife and 4 of his kids. In the book, he talks about the need to do things slowly. And he also describes that sometimes there’s a need to do things quickly, but carefully. I’ve been taking that advice to heart these past few days and it’s worked well. For example yesterday we fixed the Monitor rudder quickly, but carefully. And with these easy watches, I can go all around the boat with a fine-tooth comb, really taking my time, enjoying even the most mundane tasks.

The days are quickly growing hotter and the nights pleasantly warm as we approach the tropics. Today we stowed the sleeping bags and traded them for thin cotton sheets. Privateer is all ship-shape and effortlessly cruising along at 5-6 knots, day and night, day and night…

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