Saturday, May 12, 2012


Noon Position: 47 10' S, 175 02' E, SOG 5, COG 050, Day's Run 125nm.
Passing Tasmania in the night to the rich smells plants and damp soil
and woodsmoke was autumn, and today seems like the first day of winter.
An entire season gone in less than a week. Odyssey is as far from the
sun as she would be in northern Maine in November. The sun is low in
the sky, sharp and cold against a crisp blue sky, not providing much
warmth even at noon. Last night the ceiling of the head glistened in
the cold blue-white light of my headlamp, an inverted carpet of tiny
white gems, water droplets shining like little spheres of ice in the
night. This morning they're gone, replaced by an inglorious smear,
victim to my continuing futile campaign to keep the mold and
condensation in check with bleach and rags. The seas yesterday were
gray, with low sodden clouds looming about, vomiting their contents back
into the sea, pierced by the occasional clear grey light of the sun. If
it weren't for the double reef in the main and the spray across the deck
it could have been a scene from the doldrums, thousands of miles to the
north. It's amazing how much more pleasant sailing upwind is when the
breeze drops off enough to let me carry a double reef in the main - less
water across the deck, less noise, and even the pounding off waves is
gentle, more a reminder of the waves than a nerve-wracking constant
slam. Under full sail the waves are hardly noticeable, just an
occasional smack of spray in the sun. By now the sunward side of the
cabin is mostly dry, drips of dew warmed away, but small puddles still
lurk on the ceiling, threatening to drip and drop wherever they are, and
the shady side of the cabin is unchanged, a sheen of water shining where
I wiped up the worst of it, marred by small rivulets here and there.

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