Endeavour of Cork - Tricks of the mind- Endeavour of Cork
Conor here- We do a lot of sailing in the dark here..just over 12 hours a day..this is unusual because at home in the summer months we'd only have half this amount of darkness. Some of the nights are very dark. If the moon hasn't risen and its cloudy it is impossible to see the horizon, all you might see are a few swells or crests illuminated by the navigation lights of the boat. The 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. shift was mine last night and it is on shifts like this that the mind starts playing tricks. I kept thinking i saw lights of other boats on the horizon, maybe just a glimpse of a light but on straining to see it again, no joy. Perhaps i changed course slightly and am staring at the wrong spot. There was a half waning moon last night and plenty of cloud so at times you could see all around, nothing but waves, swells, crests or troughs or was there more? What, I wonder, is the black shape just 100m off our side that seems to be slowly getting bigger , is it a whale, a submarine maybe but then it disappears again and you decide its just a trick of the light until you see it again. And are those lights of distant boats just breaking waves foaming in the distance and reflecting some moonlight. We know there are 73 other boats crossing the Atlantic with us so perhaps it is one of those. Just when you have clarified to yourself that you are perfectly sane and the tricks the moonlight can play are indeed a marvel, you get walloped on the head or trunk by a UFO and startled you jump up, turn on your torch and see one of these flying fish feckers flopping on the deck. Just like a mackerel with wings only smaller they seem to want to commit suicide and some mornings we have removed 6 dead fish from the boat. We're not sure how all this fits into Darwins theory of evolution but presumably by being able to fly for 10 or more metres they can escape their prey. They look like they were evolving to birds and got stuck only to find themselves dying on "Endeavour of Cork" after all that effort. Torch off again, more shapes appearing, fear of being attacked by more flying fish the mind wanders to giant octopuses- could they really be able to reach up with a tentacle and attach a big sucker to my face and pull me off. Would being clipped on save me? Just then some water splashes up on me. Again I turn the head torch to confirm that yes, it is just some water dripping from me on the the deck, no suckers, no gelatinous material, just sea water. This truly is the scary shift. I hope it ends soon....