4th Night at Sea

Yesterday, tiredness caught up with me. I had been doing quite well. I did
not want this crossing to be like the last one, from Gibraltar to the
Canary Islands. During that first long crossing I had decided to do
nothing but sail and recuperate. The boat would be everything. The process
of bringing the boat from point A to point B would be everything, and it
was. I don’t think it could have been any other way as tiredness ended up
seeping into every waking moment. We spent so much time sleeping at
alternate moments that I joked that, contrarily to what everybody thought,
a couple gone sailing doesn’t have to get along that well because they end
up never really spending any time together. By the time we arrived in
Lanzarote, I was restless to no end. “What am I doing? I am doing nothing!
What is the point of doing nothing?” The process wasn’t sitting with me
very well. That’s why I had decided that this time would be different. I
would do things during this crossing. I would not let tiredness and the
lethargy that follows it get the better of me. Mind over matter. I will
will myself to action. Really, it was working out quite well until

I don’t like being tired. I once heard someone say that to have children
is to learn to live tired. That has been a very strong argument against my
having children. When in cégep and taking the bus into town for school, I
remember watching adults nod off as they went to work, their bodies
swaying with the stops and starts of the bus ride. I never wanted to be
that adult. I watched my mom work night shift most of her life, and then
watched my brother take on shift work, and swore never to do the same. I
guess no matter what our life choices, tiredness catches up with us at
some point, in some way.

We were expecting this trip to be 4 or 5 days. In other words, we should
almost be there. The first day went well. We were sailing at around 7
knots with a good back wind. Then we entered a no-wind zone that we had
planned to avoid. The wind fell to between 1 and 7 knots, which is not
strong enough to properly blow out our sails. The main sail of a catamaran
is usually larger than on a mono-hull, and our main sail is a bit larger
than the usual for a cat. When the wind is weak it becomes slightly
directionless, blowing from various directions. This has the effect of
swaying the sail one way to another, flipping down the outer edge over
itself and sometimes being whipped back straight. This is not good for our
sail. Our new sail, I should add. Instead of risking our sail to go at a
speed of 3 knots, we’ve packed everything in and have been motoring our
way along at 4 to 5 knots. We are concerned about the level of petrol in
the boat as it is hard to come by in the ports of Cabo Verde. To use up
less of it we’ve been using one motor at a time – another big advantage to
having a catamaran! Usually we would download an updated weather file from
our satellite phone to create a new route, but the Iridium mail server
quite inconveniently has been down for the past 3 days, which is why we
are motoring straight through a large no-wind zone and are only about half

I am writing this during my 2 to 4 AM shift. We haven’t come across
another vessel in 2 days. I see a flashing and moving white and red light
far out on portboard. I am not sure what it is. My AIS has not picked up a
signal and the radar hasn’t detected any interference. Maybe it’s too far.
The night sky can be confusing. Some stars actually do twinkle. They
change brightness as if someone’s playing with their dimmer button.
There’s a lighthouse at Cape Barbas but we should be too far out to see
its signal. Besides, my blinking light was moving ahead of us, while we’re
leaving the cape behind. Sometimes, when you’re looking out to the horizon
and you’re not sure where it ends, you can mistake phosphorescent algae
for a star. In the past 20 minutes I’ve seen 2 shooting stars. Both times
they suddenly appeared, shot downwards a bit, and then just as suddenly
disappeared. Both times my heart gave a little start. I made 2 wishes.

Last Modified on 2016 December 4
This entry was posted in Travel
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