After crossing the ITCZ (day 15) we sailed in easterly winds of 8-10 knots, slipping along the crests of organized seas. After a week of hard living below decks, life on board became pleasant, albeit sultry, once again. The sky was rapidly changing with small black clouds gracing us with cooling showers, and giving us a several knot boost in the wind as they passed gently to our west. On the 16th day our 8-10 knot wind continued, as did the benign showers and rapidly moving clouds. Windy steered us gently along at 5.5 to 6 knots, guiding us into our first night on this crossing with mostly clear skies. We folded the bimini back and tied it the backstay, turning the cockpit into a planetarium. Fast moving clouds slid along, revealing stars I’ve never seen before. Leaning back and reveling in the patterns of the night sky, I journeyed into unknown worlds. The Southern Cross, hovering in the milky way, rose across the southern sky, trailing two bright stars like a kite’s string. The Southern Hemisphere beckoned – so close, at only two degrees and a few minutes north of the equator.
Devon’s joyous cry of, “the phosphorence!” brought me back to the world of our ship; I followed his glance and saw phosphorence sparkling and shining in the dark night ocean waters. Anthea’s bow wave carried these watery stars gently along the hull, and as the combined forces of our rudder and wind vane churned the ocean, a ribbon of shining, sparkling beauty trailed in our wake. The dark of the night sky and the ocean water merged, creating the illusion of sailing in the cosmos, with only stars above and stars below. Gentle seas and a light sailing breeze carried Anthea effortlessly through this star-studded world.
Our cameras could never capture this magical scene, so I took a soul picture, willing the memory to permeate my being, summoning the physical beauty alongside the awe-filled mystery of worlds never traveled, as yet unknown. Kim
Latitude 2 degrees 53 minutes south
Longitude 136 degrees 14 minutes
PS Coming up: heavenly spin run; crossing the equator, rituals and delights