Vancouver Island artist/writer Alison Watt's journal, as she and her husband Kim Waterman, sail out of their lives for a year on their boat, Circadia.
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.
I am an artist and writer. I usually work from my home and studio on Protection Island (where I also teach painting). This year (Sept. 08-summer 09) I'm trying to keep the artist's life afloat as my husband and I take time out to sail in the Pacific.