Sailing To St Helena – Swell & Stars
Over the last few days we’ve been dealing with a hefty three-metre swell behind us. So as we’re sailing, the boat gets lifted up and carried along on a large wave before we slide down behind it, hoping to get picked up again by the next wave. If the rhythm of the waves is conducive, it feels a bit like a magic carpet ride and can be quite speedy.
However, it can quickly fall out of sync when we get a wave that comes at an angle. At this stage, the boat does the electric slide, as the front goes down the wave and the rear follows with a little arse slide before it straightens up. Welcome to our wibbly wobbly life on board!
With the swell, we also have the resounding ‘boneshaker’ bangs. Now, we had these on our boat when blue-water sailing and it’s perfectly normal. They are waves that go under the boat and hit one hull before being slung back to the other hull, with a resonant thud. Boneshaker bangs mainly happen at the rear of the boat – where our cabins are – so it doesn’t take much for the whole bed to shake, rattle and roll. It’s something you get used to, but it brings a new meaning to being woken up with a bang!
In other news, for the first time on this journey, we’ve had a night sky clear of cloud. With no moon to take centre stage, the stars and constellations come out to play with glee. I’m not sure why, but there seems to be millions of more stars visible in the Southern Hemisphere; carpeting the sky in bright dots, sparkles and many different shades of white. We get to see a different kind of world, and one I just can’t tear my eyes away from.
My favourite pastime while on night watch is to spot a shooting star – catching it just at that moment when it fires across the sky like a lightning bolt, turbo-charged and totally on a mission of a celestial kind.
Total miles sailed in 48 hours: 327
Total miles to go to St Helena: 897
Date: Friday 17 & Saturday 18 February 2023
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