I saw it at 2:00 a.m. last night, for the first time. I was in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt in the cockpit. A sliver of a moon had just set. We rolled gently in following seas. It was unmistakable, right there, due south of our heading and about 10 degrees above the horizon. That was it! I got really excited. I found the CSNY song on the iPod and listened closely, I got a bit emotional.
Only then did it occur to me that I wasn't sure this was the Southern Cross. I glanced at our latitude-still 14 degrees above the equator-and isn't that constellation a southern hemisphere thing? I opened up the Starwalk app to see what I was looking at.
Crux--commonly known as the Southern Cross!
I listened again to that song I've heard a billion times before on classic rock stations. I knew it was about boats and sailing, but never noticed it's about the exact passage we are on:
"Got out of town on a boat, going to southern islands
Sailing a reach 'fore following seas
She was making for the trades on the outside
And the downhill run to Papeete
Off the wind on this heading lie the Marquesas
We got 80 feet of waterline, nicely making way…"
It was all sublime. I woke Windy to share the experience with her and to start her watch.
Stay tuned; tomorrow I'll share what may be the dumbest thing I or anyone else has ever done aboard a cruising sailboat. Dumber than what's been recounted in two of my favorite such stories I can't link to now: Bumfuzzle motoring for hours before realizing they were in neutral and Galactic persistently confusing forward and reverse while leaving a marina. I've topped both of them, hands down.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com
Position Report: April 26, 2017
12 hours ago