A Flag of Our Own

17 May

Day 146/24

Noon Position: 32 04S 154 12W

Course/Speed: N5

Wind: SSE4

Bar: 1027, falling (slowly)

Sea: S5, N3 (both old)

Sky: Puffy Cumulus

Cabin Temperature: 75

Water Temperature: 69

Sail: Motoring

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 96

Miles this leg: 2,949

Avg. Miles this leg: 123

Miles since departure: 20,193

I woke to a sea of glass.

We reached steadily north all night. Wind gave out occasionally–I could hear the slatting of the main from my bunk–but filled in again after a time. Then Mo would move silently through the silent heave of sea, making her slow way in time with the slow turning of the astral sky. I slept deeply in two-hour stints until just before dawn. Then the big sail began barking and did not stop. I pulled it down, made coffee and watched for the sun over what had become an undulating mirror.

Not a breath. Not a bird. Not a sound.

We motored until noon. Then a southwest wind let us fly the spinnaker for a few hours. Now we are close hauled with working sails, still headed north. I want as much northing as we can squeeze out before the west end of this high rolls over us and we are headed for a week.

All around the sky has become heavy with low cloud this evening. There are columns of rain to the west. I half expect lightning. I don’t expect much sleep. Tonight will be shifty.

I have left the Australian flag up these last weeks out of respect for her hegemony, and then for New Zealand’s too (it’s the only Crown flag I have aboard). But I figure by now we are well beyond the protected waters of either nation, and so the flag has been replaced.

The new flag, a blue burgee with a white albatross in it center, was the gift of Darryl Ridgeway, one of my sponsors in Hobart, and is technically the ensign of the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania (notice the hat with same bird and abbreviations–also a gift from Darryl). But it is too fitting not to be appropriated as Mo’s own.

And on queue, at the end of our flag ceremony, a Wanderer flew by. I kid you not.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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