Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's Pics

Not much in the way of pics when trying to describe our night run up the Carolina coast.
The sunset was a non-event, a half moon doesn't spread much light -though any light is a gift when operating a boat in the dark- and the stars that flashed across the sky couldn't be photographed due to lack of light and the instability of a moving boat.
The trip was pretty much uneventful, excluding an encounter with a cargo ship coming out of Charleston and that wasn't much either... except at night we hate to deviate from our course... even for a cargo ship. But in the end, size matters and we did a zig-zag maneuver. The cargo ship received the right of way and we safely passed each other. The night's drama was over.
AIS is a wonderful thing.

The moon left us in the dark around 1 AM.

Running a boat in total darkness, without even the horizon to use as a point of reference, is a trip.
You feel like your falling or being hurled through the darkness, but we only do 9 or 10 knots. (yes, we were doing 10.5 for half the 20hrs)
You can't see anything.
This initially makes us feel powerless and out of control, but after a while we get past it and blind faith takes over... if it's not on radar or AIS, it's simply not there is the justification we use to cast off our anxiety and good judgement.

When the moon dropped below the horizon, the stars lit up.
The Milky Way was painted across the sky in all it's glory on this pitch black morning. I walked out to the bridge and just sat and stared for an hour. At around 4 AM, I woke Mel and convinced her to join me. Of course, she resisted, but once she looked up, she stopped talking, and together we sat... silently staring at this massive galaxy till our necks hurt. Even the boys joined us.
The whole crew under the stars.

A short time later, the sun finally started it's way up.

It was a welcomed sight and a beautiful one.

Finally enough light to take a few photos.

After snapping off an ample amount of photographs, I went back into the pilothouse.

There I saw the silhouette of old Don Quixote riding Rocinante. They're always at the helm, seemingly tilting at windmills somewhere out the pilothouse window.
(My old wooden Don Quixote statuette is another story completely.)
This is our favorite shot from the morning.

I love days like this.

So, all in all, it was a good run that ended better. This offshore leg of trip took 25 hrs and we traveled more than 250 miles from Savannah to Cape Fear, NC. The seas were very kind and the heavens put on quite a show for us.

We tied up at Southport, NC to get some rest and we did.

Now it's time to move north.