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Sunday, February 13, 2011

HI to MX Day 31

Sometimes it seems like everything happens at once. Last night we were sailing along under double headsails with the wind slowly shifting to be more on the beam. The double headsail rig is only good for almost dead downwind, so when we were finally 30 degrees off course I decided I had to make a change. Start with the main, hoisting it so the drifter can come down in its lee. Then drop the drifter. Furl the jib. Take down the pole (of course the control line for the pole jammed in the pole mount so I had to get back to that). Move the jib to the starboard side. Finally finish putting away the pole. This is about 20 minutes worth of activity, during which my attention is focused only on NAKIA. After everything was put away I take a look around and right there off our bow is a boat, or at least a light from a boat. It's very bright white, which should mean I'm looking at the stern of the boat but since we're back in Mexican waters the color of the light doesn't mean squat (Mexican fisherman don't seem to carry a copy of the navigation rules). So I do all the things I normally do when there is a boat close; I turn on all the deck lights and start the radar. The radar takes 2.5 minutes to warm up so while I'm waiting I grab the binoculars and go on deck to see if I can tell which way the boat is headed. When I get there, the light is gone! Great, I think, the fisherman has seen me put my deck lights on and figures I see him so he can turn his light off (don't laugh, they actually do this kind of thing). So I start squinting through the binoculars trying to see a boat with a very dim light when I notice a brightly back-lit cloud on the same bearing as the boat. I wait a minute or so and a nice bright planet (probably Venus or Jupiter) comes out from behind a cloud. It wasn't a boat at all, it was this planet rising on a clear horizon! You'd think that after almost 20,000 miles at sea in the last 6 years I'd learn.

{GMST}21|38|N|110|55|W|Hawaii to Mexico Day 31|Day 31{GEND}