Silver Snitches
Last night my 12-4am watch was moonless, cloudless, and very nearly windless. The spinnaker struggled to keep the boat speed above 1 knot. But it was beautiful. I listened to old Rolling Stones singles and Harry Nilsson. Funny how songs have a way of re-presenting themselves at times like this. “You’re 1000 light years from home” and “Banking off of the northeast wind, sailing on summer breeze, going where the weather suits my clothes”. I was wearing boxers. 4 hours at night on the ocean in boxers and I wasn’t cold.
We’ve been having a lot of Boobie hop-ons recently. They fly by at sundown and try to take up roost on the mizzen mast. They’d crap everywhere so this is a bad thing. We try to scare them off with flashing lights and by jamming a boat pole into them using a halyard. They try to stay put and complain loudly. A truce was reached when they took up the end of the mizzen boom, hanging off the end of the boat.
While shining the spotlight on them we also shone it on the water. Thousands of orange lights shone back. Each one a flying fish. There is literally a flying fish every 3 feet out here. They range from the size of a hummingbird to the size of a twinkie. In the day they are a mirage, suddenly appearing from the water they beat their wings with the same fury as a humming bird and zip this way and that over the water before plunging back down, sometimes 60 feet from where they started. They can turn, but I haven’t seen them gain altitude. The bright sun makes them easy to pick out. So small, shiny and silver they look for all the world like the snitch out of Harry Potter.
We finally hit the northeast trade winds today, and are moving at 5 knots without any effort at all. What a difference 10 knots of wind makes.