Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Our crossing is going very well so far (touch wood). Today we put the spinnaker up at 0900 and flew it until 0100 and then we had a perfect takedown while bathed in moonlight. The moon is just past full so we have it for most of the night, it gets up about an hour later each night. We left just before the full moon so have enjoyed it's beauty and light for most of the night hours. I watched it come up the other night, how come I don't remember watching a moon rise in Yellowknife. In the dead dark of the open sea when it rises it lights up the eastern sky, just as a sunrise might. Then the large glowing yellowy orange orb rises and lights up the sky. There is a planet, either Venus or Mars which shines brightly on the western horizon every night. Before the moon comes up, the starlight bounces off the waves, it has amazing light. When the spinnaker was flying in the dark our nav lights shone on it from the top of the mast. It was flying on the starboard side which meant it glowed green as it billowed out around the reefed main, magic! The other night I was down below checking on navigation on the computer when I heard a weird noise in the cockpit. I looked out and there was a stunned looking boobie sitting in the cockpit. I think it must have been hit by the wind generator as it tried to land on the solar panels. I took a picture and it didn't move. I was trying to figure out how to get it out of the cockpit without getting attacked by it's very sharp bill when Barry got up. After putting on a pair of gloves he just lifted up the cushion and dumped it overboard. There was a little blood on the cushions, I hope it didn't break a wing or anything, and that it was just a little stunned. We have a schedule on our ham radio twice a day with 4 other cruisers who are crossing at the same time as we are. One of them is a Brazilian and he is a little excitable. He got some information that there was a cyclone brewing along our path to Rodriguez. He threw everyone into a tizzy. We downloaded Grib files, weather reports and were going to get a weather fax, we could find no indications of a storm brewing. When we got together on the radio again, we found out the cyclone was in East Timor which is just north of Australia. We are over 2000 nm away from there and there is no way the cyclone's path would head this way. Even though we figured out where this was he was still worried about it today. He projected that if it moved at 100 miles a day it would reach our area in 20 days, so what, we will be safely at anchor in a secure harbour at the time. I guess he just has a fiery Latin temperament and needs something to worry about, but I wish he would stop going on about it on the radio. It was an interesting exercise in what the yacht's would do, the ones neared the equator were going to head back north and hang about outside the cyclone belt. We thought we would just proceed at speed, using the motor to go as fast as we could to make landfall. The boat only 100 miles behind us did not think he could make it to Rodriguez in time and was going to head back north. Thank goodness we don't have to follow through on any of those scenarios. Rodriguez is by all accounts a very nice place. It is populated by freed slaves that were brought to Mauritius to work in sugar cane, I think. I am looking forward to exploring the island and getting to know the people and it's culture. A long time ago it was French and then was conceded to the British in the 1800's (I think), so all the official paperwork will be done in English but the locals speak French. I am hoping to take some lessons so both Barry and I can improve our grasp of the language. We will probably be in Rodriguez for a month and maybe up to three months in Mauritius, a good length of time to improve our language skills. Apparently there is a good French bakery on the island so baguettes here we come and my mouth is watering for fresh fruits and veggies.