Bill & Joe’s excellent Adventure Day 6

0030 It just doesn’t get any better
Full moon and steady winds at our back. The boat is surfing along at 6 kts and there is nothing but open ocean for hundreds of miles ahead. To starboard, I can see Matthewtown glittering on the Northwestern tip of great Iguana Island. The village is about a mile across and can’t be more than 200 people. Ah well …maybe next time. I guess the same goes for Guantanamo it’s only 122nm. off my port bow… another day and maybe another Regime.

Yesterday was good, after Bill and I cobbled together a new mainsheet system we cooked dogs for lunch. I slept first, and the dreams just kept on coming, this one was about some “event at the library”, everybody seemed to know each other and were happy. Later we watched a movie and played cards. No Worries on No Rush. We talked about what to do and where to go when we get to Key West. Skipper says I get to pick the itinerary and hints that he would like to see The Dry Tortuga, he thinks there is some good snorkeling around there. I’ve seen it… but it was after a long slow sail from Marathon and nobody felt like getting into the water that day. So if he wants to keep going west after Key West…I’m good with it.

Dinner was a great beef stew made from scratch. While Bill was cooking I hung out on the bow and took pictures. The clouds parted just before sunset.

After Dinner Bill had some serious pain in his lower back. He had mentioned having Kidney stones a few years ago and the location was right. So… Bill took a Vicadin and went below. Fifteen minutes later I screwed up a wind shift and before I could get the boat straightened out he was back on deck saying the cramps had gone and he was feeling fine. I told him the problem must be menstrual and we both laughed. It was troubling… but there wasn’t anything I could do about it and I figured that if things went to hell I could set course for Guantanamo and call for help on 16. I’m sure we would have assistance in short order.

There was a good display of bioluminescence in the wake. The movie was Three Feathers about British troops fighting in Sudan during the late 1800s.
When the wind picked up right after dark we put a reef in the main and the boat settled right down. I stayed on deck until we saw the beacon on Grand Iguana.
0240 hours 6 nm southwest of Matthewtown. The winds are starting to increase and the cloud cover is lower and thick. I ducked below and cleaned up the dishes from last nights feast. When I came up I let out the main and tightened the preventer. It was all good … time to catch up on my murder mystery.
0500 hours Bill is up and I’m ready for sleep.
1145 hours We have been Wing on Wing since midday yesterday only having to switch sails once. The seas are down I so I used the opportunity to open the foreward hatches on my side of the boat. It was getting a bit ripe in there.
1800hours Bill made chicken with Bell pepper wraps for lunch. There has been no change in wind direction but it is starting to build. We are expecting it to begin clocking from east to south and then from the southwest which is going to make for a bumpy night. Spent the afternoon reading. Just for the heck of it I put out the fishing gear …no joy.
2100hours Storm at Sea

Bill and I were playing cards, the seas were 2-3 feet and coming from astern, as they had been all day. We were talking about putting a reef in the main and watching the clouds thicken ahead… Suddenly Bill put down his cards and said, “Lets do it RIGHT NOW”.
So… we reefed the main and furled the jib. As we finished the wind died and we could see a rain squall approaching from the Northwest. When it hit it shifted to the north. The best way to make good time in these condition was to motor and.. so we did.
Dinner was great, Pasta Bolognese, which we ate quickly. The weather was looking like it was going to get worse. We were still several hours from the narrows but the skys ahead were very dark. There was a midsized yacht tracking us on the starboard we kept an eye on it until it sped up and crossed our bow.

The night was pitch black and it was impossible to make out the horizon. It’s like being inside a bowl of India ink. We turned off the running lights for a second and you couldn’t even see the bow. I have never experienced such “blackness. Later the bioluminescence started up with a variation on last night.. Tonight it was a green cloud with brighter globs of light within. Amazing! Again we turned off the running lights and all the instruments. WOW…The only thing visible were little green flashes coming from our wake and bow wave. WOW… I stood on the transom steps and imagined it was the view of our universe from a million light years away.

Bill suspects the front is Northwest and will be on us about midnight, right now we are in the convergence and it’s strangely calm.
2100 hours Just before Bill went below he suggested that I disconnect the Garmin C-176 from the boat’s power just in case the storm knocks out the chart plotter. The lightning started from the NW but now it’s across the entire starboard side with an occasional flash to port probably from smaller storm cells. It would have been great to check it on the radar but it decided to be our latest mechanical issue and went down yesterday.

2300 hours I’m a little spooked…probably for no good reason but this is new to me. As the front approached the air became super saturated. Everything was wet. we are still motorsailing but the jib is out and we trimmed the main to starboard. Bill is up. Time to get some sleep it’s going to be a long night.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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