Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Southern Trades

We're still at 2° North, but we've already picked up the southeast trades. They're gentle and the sailing is like velvet. I woke before dawn this morning and enjoyed the sweet quiet of the cockpit, the cool before the sun established its tyranny on the day, the beauty of the vast plain of clouds that stretched all around us, colored lilac and amber, beheld by absolutely no one in the world but me.

We motored for two days and two nights to pass the doldrums - the first a day of unbelievable rain and threatening squalls, the second blue and still and ungodly hot.

Sailing ships used to spend weeks to get through this windless band that we passed so easily. But the doldrums are still a place that Gabriel Garcia Marquez would recognize - a place of regret, and nostalgia, and second thoughts. Our dreams were uneasy, our waking moments were spent baking in the cabin or shivering in the cold rain on deck. We began to doubt the wisdom of everything we did, the big picture of our life afloat suddenly made no sense to any of us, from Eric on up.

The trades are made of more optimistic stuff.

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