21 May 2014

Tourmaline Moon

April 14

One of the great things about sailing with a woman, is she notices things like changes in colors...


Eggs and a banana, nice breakfast. I woke up this morning at 5:15, early enough to see the sun rise above the mountains behind us.  I love sunrises better than any other celestial event.

On our way, from sapphire water...

By 10 o’clock we were on our way to Anegada, a coral reef north of Virgin Gorda. The expected drama of bringing the dingy onboard and putting up sail was staged, and by 11o’clock we were on our way.

The color of the water lightened as we sailed today, from sapphire blue to tourmaline, a color so vivid, it almost looked fake. We were on our way to a island, surrounded by a reef and with a narrow channel dangerously flanked by razor sharp coral.

On our approach, Eric asked me to go all the way up front, to the bow platform and warn him of any coral heads (yellow corals that are dangerously out of the water or shallow enough to rip the hull of this boat into shreds).  As per Eric, many, many boats have been lost to corals.


Ok, so here I am holding on for dear life in the bow of the boat, just like the figurehead on an old schooner. As I am looking for the yellow corals I am thinking, 'OK,  so the boat weighs a couple of ton, plus the speed, not much but added to the weight of the boat, if we hit a coral, I will be flying at about 60 miles per hour. There is nooooo way I can hold on hard enough.' So, I kneel on the bow platform. Instead of flying into the ocean, I will have 30 broken ribs, but I will still be on the boat. Better option.

Coralheads in a tourmaline sea...
By sunset we are anchored. No broken ribs, no flying off the boat. Good.

There are about 40 boats anchored with us. It’s getting dark, the anchor lights on top of each mast against the sunset sky look like stars. Some are set high, some are low. Few have the old incandescent yellow glow, some are bluewhite LED’s that bring modern life to an old setting. They are forming new constellations, bright against the darkening sky.

A peaceful anchorage
Tonight, we have delicious chicken curry and rice and watch a movie about these crazy sailors that went around the Cape Horn (south of Chile) in the 1929. Those were the days people did amazing feats.

The moon is full to the fullest. There was a lunar eclipse last night, but we missed it. Eric saw it, and said at first he wondered what was happening to the moon… was it a big cloud???

Tomorrow we are getting up early and exploring Anegada…. good night.

Next Episode: Anegada

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