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Monday, February 15, 2010

'midst the grackles

Murphy and the elements have just combined to deliver one of Those Moments. We have been climbing the latitudes to the NE to make a bit of space for the forthcoming blast but the wind backed to the point where I thought it necessary to gybe. Black, overcast night, faint glow from the horizon to the west. Haven't seen the stars or the moon for days - unremitting nightly gloom. Out into the cockpit, set it all up, remembered the checkstay just in time, tweaked Kevvo across and a nice gentle gybe later, start tidying it all up. All a bit delicate - main way out to port, boat rolling, preventer not yet sorted and tight so uncontrolled gybe back very much on the cards. Keep head down, get preventer on the cleat, then headlight in red, go forward to release and re-run starboard preventer. Bang headlight against the boom and, enter stage left Professor Murphy, it goes out. Dead. Corpsed. An ex-parrot headlight. A moment of absolute blackness - brace, keep everything in place by feel and then the eyes adjust and still have reasonable night vision and yeeehaaa! phosphorescence all around, swirling coils in the wake aft but - a big slashing gap in the overcast and there in glorious glowing diamond cascades across the sky was the milky way. Almost as wondrous as my first aurora off Baffin Island.

Just had a message from Groupama 3 - they will probably pass south of us on Feb 28th, as we close on Tasmania. Go guys!

And so we wait for the blast. A lot will depend on the actual wind direction when it arrives but I suspect there will be 24+ hours or so of bare poling, trying not to go too fast and get sideways on a big wave.