The Quiet Windless Days has its own charm:
Allow me this lyrical moment: There is more to those windless days than frustration when the iron sails have to do more than we wish for. It gives me time to enjoy the things around me that the eye seems to miss in wild winds with seas and sails flapping all over the show or bulging and racing away from time – not to mention how hard it is to see anything (never mind the aesthetics) when healing at 30-40 degree or banging your guts out with stuff flying all over the floor!
I probably sound like a guest on board rather than the captain’s first mate, but I do love to take time to enjoy and appreciate the smaller things in life. The little things on quiet days.
The early morning colours: Breaking Dawn brings the first silver of the day. Creeping slowly over the horizon; brushing the fairy floss clouds with their first daylight paint. As the minutes tick by adding deeper colours of orange and yellow till a red ball appears majestically in all its glory. I suppose the African dust could easily travel the odd 1400 nm to blow the red sun all the way across the Atlantic to the horizon just in front of Scolamanzi’s bow.
In fact – neither is it too far for the little butterfly that accompanied us for a while yesterday! We thought it might be a monarch butterfly and could only came in with the prevailing winds from North America – 1500nm from here! Its beautiful wings spread and closed rhythmically as it quietly landed on Scollie’s side (our dinghy) – having a break from the endless flight. It did not look exhausted at all nor did it not stay long enough for the camera – unfortunately! Wouldn’t it have been the perfect picture for this blog?
As the day progresses and the endless deep ink blue around us lights up so does the dolphins. It’s play time! We seem to have 3 regulars joining us a few times per day for the last 2 days. At one stage we counted 12 friends playing the fields of Neptune. Amazing how they take notice of people … they are so aware of on which side of the boat we are and tend to stay and play just there. Constantly turning sideways – making eye contact and flashing that beautiful smile. Teasing us with their speed and agility On days like that, I’m allowed to go to the bow, watching and sharing the fun with them. A great privilege granted by the Captain… to get out of my safe zone (the cockpit) for a while.
So many faces of sunsets…….
As the sun sets the ski-artist’s nonchalant brush strokes of silver streaky clouds gets mixed as time goes by with deeper shades of pinks to orange. Don’t you miss the G&T? That would have made the picture perfect!
The beauty of the day is gone and the night colours take the stage in absence of the sliver moon that quietly left just after dusk. The brightness and detail of the stars is quite unbelievable at sea. Sitting on the back seat (take note: inside the cockpit!) watching the turbulent water behind the boat, resembling almost a perfect image of the sky and Milky Way in the water. Luminescent plankton lighting up like little stars below the water surface ; mesmerising me as they come and go and every so often takes my breath away with the odd fluorescent fire ball of light that explodes, lights up and roll away meters behind into the darkness of nothing.
I will miss those sights of tranquillity, crisp colours and me-time ? time to dream and time to read. Reading takes up a lot of my me-time on board. Reading ? something I am blessed with doing in just about any conditions on board. In wild weather, time for words on paper (reading or writing) or my Ipad is limited, as my focus shifts endlessly from book to monitor to sails to waves and massive swells ? trying to engulf the boat from the stern!
The wind and sea are waking up like a lazy monster – stretching and bit by bit standing upright. The colour of the sea suddenly appears dark and less translucent. All you notice is that darkness with the increasing number of wild white horses rushing over it. Suddenly the vibrancy of colour disappears- replaced by overcast cold shades of grey skies and metallic sea. Sadly, the only colour that you pick up from the water is the odd debris floating past ( a green plastic shampoo bottle, an orange net on a metal ring, the broken stained bucket – sad but true – luckily only scattered.)
The awe of all those windless days are now shifting into overfilled sails and exhilarating speed. I guess that is sailing. To feel the wind in your sails the speed of your boat. To be cold and wet from the salty spray .Healing over and racing the waves and basically just try and keep your head above water and the boat afloat!
Maybe I will one day unleash the sailor in me and feel the fun in that too ? at the moment ? I will leave that joy to the Captain!
Some great books I have been reading recently include:
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatjie
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez
The Book Thief (an absolute favourite! Brilliant!) – Markus Zusak
Aleph – Paulo Coelho
Indian Summer – Will Randall
Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Digital fortress – Dan Brown
Sing you home – Jodi Picoult
In all of them are my friends – thanks for all your suggestions! Great choices!