I feel ridiculous, it’s 12:30am just after my night watch and the moon is shining directly into the cabin hatch. It’s open allowing the breeze to swoop in and glide down to the tip of our toes. The further West we sail, the warmer it’s getting at all times of day and night, making this breeze at night vital to sleep. The moonshine so bright I can’t sleep, so I’m lying with sunglasses on! Ridiculous but it worked, finally got to sleep.
The rig set-up we have at the moment with twin head sails allows us to sail almost directly downwind and angle ourselves more or less in line with St Lucia but it’s also proving to be extremely noisy at night when all you want and need is some rest and all you can hear are the sails, poles, boom, mast, blocks and cars flapping, tweaking, twisting and dancing with the wind. It sounds like a you’ve let a bunch of pre-school children into a music classroom and given them free reign on all the instruments. Below deck in our cabins it seems more amplified and at times you’ll be lying there thinking the boat is out of control and about to break, run up on deck and the person on watch is either making tea, coffee or popcorn or just chilling in the cockpit listening to an audio book. Up on deck the noises seem to be engulfed by the sound of the Atlantic Ocean swishing up against and high five'ing the hull.
We’ve each got our own little night watch routines. However it’s guaranteed that all of us will have a good rummage through the snack bowl. I’m now having to ration out the night watch treats as between Stu and Jason, we wouldn’t have any goodies left by now ;p
As with everything else, our night watch shifts have organically worked out and we’re all in a good rhythm. I’m up first on the 9pm-12am shift, everyone slopes off to bed around 9pm after dinner and then it’s just me, Ted, the Atlantic and the moon. The moon has been magnificent! At the start of our trip it was a mere slither on the horizon and quickly set leaving a very dark sky which enhanced the stars. As the nights have past, it seems the moon has become less shy and has continued to flourish, growing to full size and staying with us throughout the whole night. There was one morning when the moon hadn’t even set yet and the sun was rising, it was a spectacular site.
Stu is up next on the 12am-3am watch. Although, I occasionally see him half asleep on the stairs having just had a bad dream. He pops up to make sure everything is ok and to confirm it was just a nightmare and then slopes back to bed until I wake him at 11:50pm. Stu has now decided to stay off the cheese! Stu has created some of the ultimate sloth positions on the boat, most involving at least one of the bean bags.
Karla then takes the 3am - 6am shift and then Jason takes the last shift and personally my favourite shift at 6am - 9am just as the sun is rising. I normally wake-up at 7:30 ish and join Jason and Ted to watch the sunrise and welcome a new day. A new day here mid Atlantic consists of miles and miles of ocean and various beautifully formed clouds. We haven’t seen a boat in about 5 days, except when one passed 100ft away during one of Stu’s night watches.
We are on ships time, which technically means we are on our own timezone. We have gradually put the clocks back, currently 2hrs behind London time and now only 2hrs ahead of St Lucia making the time difference shorter as we approach our destination. I imagine that we’ll be so disorientated as it is arriving on land without having to deal with time differences.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a wonderful picture of the moon so here is an even better one, in my opinion, of Ted chilling on the beanbag….