The really good conditions lasted until yesterday afternoon, then the wind died again and the seas went back to fantastic. We know we keep saying it couldn’t possibly get any better, but it did. The swells dropped from 1 -2 feet to only one foot and came at slightly longer intervals, meaning smaller rocking less often. So great. For us, at least. Our friends on the sailing boat Fafner are at sea, too, and they are hating life with no wind.
Last night, Christi got off watch at 20:00 (8:00 pm). At that point, the ¾ full moon was high in the sky and not giving off much light. When she came back on watch at midnight, the moon looked bigger, brighter and closer. The light from the moon was reflecting on the calm water. The soft but pronounced light from the moon, the glistening glow from the water, and the ever so gentle rocking made for a very romantic setting. Too bad Eric was sleeping.
Around 03:00, she noticed that the moon had turned red. She went out to the bow of the boat to get a better look. The moon was setting and had turned red just like the sun does at sunset. It was really neat. She has never seen anything like it before. She sat outside and watched the moon set. Once the moon had dipped below the horizon, the stars came to life. The sky was a black velvet backdrop for millions of bright tiny lights twinkling down at us from above. Usually it is cloudy and the stars aren’t visible, so this was a special treat. Alas it was too dark for pictures.
While sitting outside enjoying the stars and the warm night, Christi had noticed a few flashes out of the corner of her eye. We had both noticed a quick flash or two the last few nights. She turned her attention to the south, where a lightening storm was just beginning off in the far distance. So far away, in fact, that we couldn’t hear the thunder. The cracks of lightening would give off a quick bright yellow glow, almost like someone turned a light on and off quickly. The storm intensified, and the horizon was lit up by crack after crack of lightening in rapid succession. Then all would go dark for a couple of minutes, and suddenly the symphony of lights in varying degrees of length and brightness would resume.
As she laid underneath the blanket of vibrant stars and watched the intense bursts of lightening in the distance, she was once again filled with awe at Mother Nature. Mother Nature is so powerful, and we humans are so small and insignificant. She can make the seas calm or violently tumultuous, make the moon glow red and the stars shine bright, make lightening storms and volcanoes erupt. And there is nothing we can do about it.
Today we hit a new milestone. This is the most time the two of us have been at sea without anyone else on board. Yay for us! This afternoon the wind picked up slowly but steadily, and the swell also picked back up, making it a bit lurchy. While not the fabulously calm ride we have had since leaving TI, sea conditions are still good overall. We were getting spoiled we knew it couldn’t last. We also had a bird decide to stow away. He landed early this afternoon and hasn’t left as of this writing at 23:30 (11:30 pm).
Around here, the western horizon often turns red at sunset. But tonight the sky turned a dark crimson color, a deeper red than usual. The red also seemed to engulf a bigger portion of the twilight sky than it normally does, giving the entire western sky a red glow. Here is a shot of the bird watching the sunset and a second sunset photo.