Wednesday, August 24, 2016

You Have To Zoom Out - A LOT

So said Miles, good friend to Galactic and to Pelagic as well, after he had a look at St. Helena on the map and reported on what is required to get any other land onto the screen at the same time.

Just now we are 850 nm from Liberia and 1350 from Brazil. There's a lot of water around us, whichever way you go.

The South Atlantic is lonely. As lonely as the South Pacific, and more depauperate in islands as well.

We have reached the realm of sensual tropical sailing, here at 9°S in the Austral winter. After weeks of overcast, we are making our way across a heavenly-blue sea under a cloud-flecked sky. Flying fish occasionally explode from the waves before us, and the ones that end up on deck during the night are recruited to our frying pan. The boys are getting along - the bickering and constant turf-marking that has driven me crazy on some of our past passages hasn't been in evidence. This morning before dawn I jibed while everyone else slept. A light drizzle had come up, and I took off my shirt to keep it dry and found myself comfortable, shirtless, in light rain in the night. A welcoming, caressing temperature that is effortless to exist in, and still after all these years capable of unmanning an exiled Alaskan at the sheer delight of it.

Ascension Island tomorrow.
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This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Butchering Helena

That title comes from our friend Leiv, who was referring to his record-fast sail from the Falklands to the Aleutians this year. He plowed through the canales of Chile so quickly that he told us he had utterly "butchered" the experience and would have to return again some day.

So it has been with us and St. Helena, this completely delightful bit of volcanic-English rock in the middle of the South Atlantic.

We could easily have spent three weeks here, but only spent three days. Nine years into our sailing lives, we on Galactic have fallen into that beginner's fault of being on a schedule.

But! We will thrive on that energy of being at sea, and when we set sail for Ascension today, I trust it will be without regret, and with delight at the traveling microcosm that Galactic is for the family. Wherever that boat goes, we are at home!

Below: Elias' 10th birthday Sea Shepherd cake, his first-ever mahi mahi, landfall at St. Helena, a celebratory pie on the high street, and Jamestown from above.








Viva! Onwards!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

One Day

Well, it seems a pretty sure thing that I'll pass through life without doing much to clear up the big mysteries. Those questions of what it all means get under my skin as much as the next person's. But even with all the nightwatch stargazing time that I have scheduled for myself over the last nine years, I haven't made much progress on answers.

So I have pretty cheerfully fallen back on the comfort of the small moments. The everyday delights. Those easily encompassed treasures that with any luck at all any of us can wrest out of life. Take my recent birthday, for instance. It was spent on the sun-beaten, dead-flat winter high pressure sea surface of the southeast Atlantic Ocean. My boys, especially Elias, had been at it hammer and tongs all the prior week, making me presents. I had an enormous pile of loot presented to me along with cake.

One gift I opened was a pair of fishing lures that the boys had rescued from high tide line on a beach in South Africa. We promptly put one of the pair to work, and not long after had a hit. Elias would not be denied the joy of reeling in the mahi mahi that turned out to be on the other end of the line. And in spite of the fish's three or four leaps clear into the air, and my three or four unsuccessful attempts to gaff it, we did eventually succeed in getting it on deck and with no further delay into the oven for my birthday dinner. It was Elias' first-ever mahi mahi, and his delight was even more complete than my own.
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This post was sent via our high-frequency radio as we're far from internet range. Pictures to follow when we reach internet again. We can't respond to comments for now, though we do see them all!

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