Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From s/v Circadia

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Day 16
Noon position: 0 degrees, 37 minutes N, 131 degrees, 14 minutes W.
Total distance travelled: 1933 nm

We have been plagued with light winds for the last few days, as we approach the equator, burning precious fuel, but hoping to find the SE trades soon to carry us the remaining 800 or so miles to the Marquesas.
The other day it was so calm that we simply jumped off the boat and swam along with it slowly, in 14,000 feet of water. I have been trying to find the colour of the water in my paint palette; the closest I can come is a mixture of phthalo turquoise and indigo. The sea is bottomless, scentless and clear as mineral water-you can see someone swimming 20 feet away in perfect detail; beams of sunlight split into fans, which flicker far below.
Life onboard is routine now that we have been sailing for over two weeks. Some days it seems we are characters on an unchanging set, trying to make sense of the world with limited information. We seem to generate many more questions than we have answers for (given our finite library and lack of internet connection) and drift into long speculations, like Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Gildenstern. It would be easy to forget what's real, to begin to doubt the existence of land altogether. But it's there on our charts. And that "imaginary line" (which seems like the most real thing out here at the moment) is less than sixty miles away (we have the champagne chilling).
Meanwhile it's great to have this tenuous connection to you all. I can't access the blog, but Michael has been kind enough to send me comments: Chris, good to hear from you. I have a great photo of you and the gang, which I will forward to you when I get to an internet connection. Colene, thanks for taking the time to keep me company out here and Julie-I ran out of time in Cabo to answer your last email-promise one soon. I will also post some pictures of the tuna, as well as some other photos from the crossing. Meanwhile I hope spring is bringing you warm days; your farm must be beautiful as it emerges from winter.

Post Script: crossed the equator an hour ago (around 7pm, under sail). Cheers.


Colene said...

What a beautiful image of the clear, blue water and fan of sunlight beams. I think swimming in 14,000 feet water would be both awesome and a little scary - something about all that seemingly infinite amount of water to dark depths.

grdnstff said...

to be sailing about in a sea of blues, with dolphins, tuna, and assorted flyers, is so unimaginable to me .. and yet there you are, and i'm delighted that you've chosen to share your adventure with us this way .. incredible that you can be out in such an expansive, far away place and still have your words reach us here .. i look forward to pictures, too .. thanks, alison ..

Intertidal girls said...

Dear Alison,
Briony, Ronan and I are listening to Songbird and thinking of you drifting in the deep sea of pthalo blue. We are hoping to get off to Wickinninish early tommorrow. After a week of glorious sun that brought the lilies to bloom, it promises to storm for Easter weekend. Not to be deterred we are heading off.
Congratulations on being south of 0 degrees. Happy Easter. We'll hide an egg for you.
Love Trudy

Alison Watt said...

yes it is a little unnerving to swim in so much water but not so much as leaping off the boat, which you've been trying your hardest not to fall off of for the rest of the trip!

i've been so happy to be able to send short post while we've been out in the middle of nowhere. It seemed like a small miracle. I hear spring has finally arrived!

Intertidal girls
thanks!!! for the note. hope you had a great time on Wick. Easter almost passed before we realized what day it was. Even had a little stash of chocolate in the fridge. Love to Briony. And you of course, xo