Spectacular galaxy show

Dec 15

The spectacular galaxy show is long gone and a soft grey curtain has been brought down on an equally grey stage that I find myself sailing along this lovely cool morning. It was a night of many feelings – wonder and frustration.

Frustration, as the wind danced around the boat like a cat sleeping on the couch. The sea on the other hand danced feverishly all night to a beat similar to hip hop, which had me running all over the deck trying madly to eek out  2-3 knots in as straight a line as possible.

I think I could, without any coaching, have won a spot on one of those TV talent shows with my spinnaker pole performance on the foredeck to the hip hop beat of the southern ocean, percussion provided by the rigging and sails slapping an erratic cacophony while trying to knock me off me feet.

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Image from ‘Dreamworks’ logo

Can you picture it? The foredeck heaving from side to side, and me with only a two point stance and a sixteen foot pole in my hands at waist level. I felt like one of the great Wallendas on a wire going across Niagara falls. I had a topping lift in the grip of my teeth and a down haul in one hand while grasping the pole and some how trying to stop the sheet from swinging out into the darkness with the motion of the deck going up and down and back and forth. I did not have a smile on my face! I may have, at times, steadied WW II for about half an hour at a time on a course that if drawn on a chart would indicate consumption of large amounts of alcohol by the helmsman.

My trusty steering man ‘Fleming’ had the whole thing sussed out from the beginning, or I should say the end of the afternoon breeze, he went into a kind of hibernation and would have nothing to do with my pathetic attempts to keep up my previous day’s run of 150 miles. So I employed ‘Raymarine’ to help me – and on short notice – he definitely stepped up to the plate and as a matter of fact he is now on the tour permanently.

The rest of the evening was about everything that was happening off the boat.

I had a front row seat to the best show in the galaxy, on for only two nights of the year, The Falling Meteor Shower Show. The conditions were perfect till about 01:00 when the moon showed up in a beautiful pastel orange gown and slowly climbed up on stage. It was like the one you see just before the movie comes on with the boy sitting in its lap with his fishing pole out.

I was dazzled by long and short streaks burning across the screen from all different directions.

I took a seat on the rolling foredeck for a while and laid down to take in this galactic light show and while I was there my attention was piqued by the distant sound of heavy breathing. I listened even harder trying to zone in on the sound and after a while I heard that familiar exhale of a whale in our neighbourhood. Hoping I could see his fin or tail through the darkness. I did not see him or her but just knowing it was there was a great comfort, I was not alone!

We are reaching along at  a respectful 6 knots and are on course for our entry into Bass Straits in the next few days.

I am going to tune the radio in and send this message off and see if there is any mail waiting. At 01:00 zulu or UTC I will tune into 14.140 and have a chat with VK6APK Alek in Binningup and VK6NTE Ted just down the the track from Alek in WA.  

Bye for now. Love, Glenn   

Dec 15

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