Day 20 dawned clear and bright. Even before 5:30 am, the sky had brightened in the east and stars gave way to milky white. The morning sun rose quickly from behind the fluffy clouds rimming the distant horizon and flooded down the wave tops into my eyes stinging with salt spray. As the sun rose still higher, the sea turned from grey to indigo to bright purple-blue colour, a colour I cannot describe for the life of me. Azure? But the texture of the sea surface I can describe – it's was like a giant
washing machine; a cacophony of peaks and valleys from every direction. It blew hard all night, so by morning, the great seas of the SE trades winds were marching down on us. Though majestic by their size, their power and their silence, they were confused by several other opposing wave trains. Squalls with winds of up to 30 knots had come at us most of the night and, I guess some disturbance form the north was adding to the mix. I sat in the cockpit, alone on the morning watch, hiding from the flying
salt spray behind the dodger, trying to make sense of the jumble. But Conversations seems to see some path through it that I cannot. She bucked and jumped her way through it all, her bow rising and falling as we charge along at 8 knots. But below, decks I could practically hear everyone groaning in their semi-sleep, bravely accepting that the cost of going this fast is a good night's sleep. And, yesterday we sailed 206 miles! It might not be a first for this boat, but it is first for me!
This is may be our last day out of sight of land, though we still have 200 miles to cover as we sail south along the barrier reef down Fiji's west coast. If luck and the wind holds, we'll be in harbour by Friday close of business (Thursday on the other side of the date line).
Ahh, the smell of fresh Barracuda on the stove has just filled the boat.