Saturday, August 6, 2016

No News, Thanks

So, we're three days out from South Africa.

Our expectations for this passage were written in level of preparation. For every passage during our last two years outside of the trades we've left port loaded for bear. Storm trysail bent to its track and lashed to the mast. Jordan series drogue already made fast to the cleats and lashed on deck in its bag. Deadlights over the opening portlights. Double lashings on the dinghy forward.

For this trip to St. Helena, we bothered with exactly none of that. We left port expecting a passage muy tranquilo. And that's exactly what we're getting. The winds have been light light light. We'll catch up with proper trades in a while, but for now we're quite content to just whisper along with the windvane doing the only hard job on board.

During our last passage, from South Georgia to South Africa, we received fairly regular updates on world and US news from my mom, our indefatigable agent for the quotidian details of whatever remains of our presence in the US. I enjoyed getting those emailed snippets of news as we stayed up nights, dodging icebergs on the radar. After all, we live in interesting times.

But for this passage, I opted not to get any news of the world at all. The self-outing of the American right as a white identity movement with a clown fetish, while it does make for very interesting reading in port, is something that I decided I could do without paying any attention to while we're at sea. Being on passage is still one of our favorite parts of the sailing life. And what we love about being at sea is the chance it gives us to pay attention to the most important things. Family life, and the natural world. The experience of our own lives, as we're living them, and the consideration of other peoples' experiences, as Gutenberg meant us to to consider them: through books.

Who would invite news of the current US circus-tragedy into that?

Our news is more to the point.

To whit, we have two evenings running seen a *triple* green flash at sunset. One each day the waves were large enough, and timed just right, to swing the very upper limb of the sun just below our perceived horizon three times, giving a glimpse, and sometimes much more than a glimpse, of that perfect emerald blaze of physics. We've had plenty of double green flashes before, but never a triple.

And we've seen four species of albatross on the trip: Atlantic and Indian yellow-nosed, shy and black-browed. Plus a juvenile either wandering or royal yesterday while I napped. Also cape petrels, a favorite old friend of the South, and Wilson's storm petrels, and giant petrels, and various other pelagic denizens. The downside of all the albatross has been that the fishing lines have had to stay aboard. No Ancient Mariner stuff for us.

And...Elias happily turned ten yesterday. He is the kind of boat kid who is content to have his birthday at sea.

And that's all our news.


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!


  1. Congratulations Elias on turning the big 10. Charlie & Stuart.

  2. I totally agree with your sentiment about divesting the News ! Can't believe Elias is 10 already . All the best for the assage. And by the way we had our mutual friends from Windara aboard for the night last week so caught up with the news on their grounding at South Georgia. - Fair winds - Jon & Barbara

  3. Happy birthday to Elias! "The self-outing of the American right as a white identity movement with a clown fetish" So perfectly worded.