I watched the sunrise over a beautiful ocean this morning. The reds and golds and streaks of orange turned the water into an alien planet. There is no place on land where you can see the very same view. I am on watch now and we have all three sails set out full, the wind is blowing gently off the starboard quarter from the NW at only 10 to 12, just enough to keep the boat moving at about 5 knots. The engine is off so the only sounds are the waves slapping against the hull as she pushes through the water, and the music from the stereo that I am playing quietly so I don't wake up Dylan and Dick. I am listening to Dierks Bently, banjo and mandolines and fiddle music early in the morning... You can take the boy out of Montana but...
I have been thinking about what makes these longer offshore trips so facinating to me. I think that part of it is the changes day by day from calm and quiet, soul searching sailing on a painted sea to the gray heaving monster sea and screaming, ripping wind that seems to hate the little boat and its inhabitants. When I used to whitewater kayak the feeling of survival after shooting out of a huge whitewater hole in my little boat sometimes was exhilerating enough to make my face hurt from smiling and I think that these extremes are, perhaps my attraction to offshore sailing.
Today will be as different from the stormy days before as a pretty delicate flower in a mountain meadow in the spring is to a gnarled old dry sagebrush on a cold Wyoming patrure in winter. The sun is already growing hot and soon we will be in the cockpit in only shorts and sunglasses, the waves are dropping and soon will be only glassy swells spitting out schools of flying fish that skim across the water with their little fin/wings trailing drops as the dart back and forth trying to avoid the predator Mahi folowing them just below the surface.
Time to go... I think I will make some French Toast for the guys this morning!
Sailing into the Morning Sun,
Captain Tofer, Capt. Dick, and Dylan