Leg 2, day 3 – The Sailing Bug

A guest crew post by David … exactly what motivates us to head out into a wide ocean fraught with surprises? On boat that is never still? In winds that seem to come from every direction but the one we want? With on-board equipment deciding to quit when it is needed most? The five AM watch holds one answer. 300 miles at sea, heading west with the wind and waves at our back, it is pitch dark ahead. The moon set three hours ago. Behind us, the planet Venus has climbed into the sky, shining bright enough to shine a path to us on the water and cast a shadow on the deck. Overhead, the Milky Way glows. In the east, the sky turns the first shade of dawn, growing until the stars begin to wink out and sun finally breaks the straight edge of the ocean horizon. This is ocean sailing. In the fresh sunlight, the bow cuts the blue water into white foam. The breeze freshens under a clear sky. Agitated waves dance on the heaping swells over which Spirit glides. The smell of fresh brewed coffee wafts up from the galley. The blear of the graveyard watch is forgotten. A sturdy autopilot steers us on the free wind toward St. Lucia.