Friday, July 10, 2009

Further Travels of Circadia

I am in Vancouver now and Kim is sailing the boat back from Hilo. He and his crew, Michael and Line left Hawaii five days ago. Here's what Kim wrote today:
Today we passed 31 degrees. We are going more than 150 miles a day, approaching the high--the pressure was up to 1023 this morning. The winds have lessened and the seas are quite pleasant now. We took out the last reef and are beam reaching slightly east of north in 12 to 14 knots, predicted to lessen in strength gradually over the next few days on the grib files. We'll see. It is still hot in the cabin during the day and we can't yet open any windows.
I have managed to snare the evening to 2 a.m. watch for myself so far. I usually make dinner and then Line washes the dishes in an attempt to allow my hands to heal up. She has this product called NuSkin which is kind of a liquid crazy glue that forms a membrane over the wound. Then I send the emails and get the gribs. As it gets dusky, (last night at 8 p.m.) I put on my cute red suit with rainboots and collapse into the supine position on the downhill side of the cockpit with a glass of whiskey. Last night I had chocolate too. I put the AIS and Sea Me on and frankly often drowse intermittently through the whole watch. Some nights I am alerted by squalls or horrors, the need to reduce sail, but last night the wind was steady all night, the moon was just past full and it was very enjoyable. Scorpio is the prominent constellation to the south; Sagittarius right behind. I haven't seen the Southern Cross since Hawaii but then last night was the first night I might have seen it. Cassiopeia is high in the sky at sunset. I haven't seen Orion's Girdle yet. We charge at about 6 when I wake up from my real sleep and then the whole cycle of coffee, granola, grazing, reading, little boat jobs begins again.
I did see one masked booby yesterday. Today the big sighting was a large whale, heading north, repeatedly surfacing to blow and then moving underwater as if it were travelling. It had a fairly blunt head and a small dorsal fin. I didn't see any of those granulations one sees on the head of a humpback and I like to think it was a solo male Sperm Whale heading back up to the Bering sea to feed after performing his mating duties in the tropics. However it was too windy to see the direction of the spume and I really couldn't call it for sure.


Maureen said...

Alison, Thanks for posting Kim's update. One of the wonderful things for me about reading your dispatches is how they just take me right out of my head and my usual path here in Victoria, and even the coast.

It made me start up Google Earth and find Hilo and then move the mouse pointer slightly east of north until I hit 31 degrees. It's such a thrill to look upon the great blue sphere of Earth on the screen, and the scratches and scars through the sea from gigantic mountain ranges and trenches. And then to think of Kim in a sailboat - wonderful invention - skimming over it on the wind and looking at the stars and really knowing them.

Very special (and theraputic!).

Thank you!

materfamilias said...

It's great to hear Kim's voice after such a long absence (he didn't mention Gaetan -- did that not work out? or is he joining the crew later? He was so looking forward to it when Jan and I were in the restaurant, but that was back in May and, obviously, plans can change.) Also great to know that you're so close to home now -- I'm sure your first week of classes have been exciting and exhausting. Look forward to catching up with you on the island soon (or if you're not going to be over here, perhaps we could catch up in Vanc'r) -- Bronwen's bringing Nola over on the 17th or 18th for a week or so, and I'd love to introduce you to my delightful granddaughter.

Alison Watt said...

nice to know you are following Kim's progress. It's strange to be on this side of the journey along with the readers!

I will be back on the 17th. I just cannot wait to meet Nola! (and to see you of course).