20 Dec Going, Going, Gone
Going, Going, Gone
Gone are the cumulus cloud forms that have dominated the skies for nearly a month. Instead, we have the clouds that I grew up with and water colour skies.
The change has been dramatic and sudden. I am wearing fleece. I sleep with a blanket. There is dew on the decks and cabin top in the morning. The flying fish are gone.
Most importantly, the languid pace of the tropics has given way to the rush of lows that sweep up from the south and hurl themselves at Chile. There seems to be no end to them and from whose forge and fire they are created I can only imagine. Nonetheless they are our ticket around and home.
This night the stars have all blinked out. We sail straight south on northerly winds that we carry on the starboard quarter wing on wing. Balanced as she is, Seaburban sails straight as an arrow with so little pressure on the helm that a rubber band would suffice for an autopilot. It is as if everything around us is taking one long, last deep breath before we meet up with the westerlies that circle the globe below 40 South.
I find it hard to believe. 40 South. It sounds like it should be the name of a garage band. Or a Spaghetti Western. “Heya Sherriff. Where’d ya say the struck that vein a silver ’round here? Wasn’t 40 South?” “I never said friend. Now git along and mind yer business before folks in town here start thinkin’ yer touble.”
No, 40 South is the home of the Roaring Forties, the name given the westerly winds that blow unabated and unobstructed around the world by the clippermen of the golden age of sail. We are not worlds away from them as one might be when reading an adventure novel. We are right next door, only a few days sail away and left wondering what they might ask of us for passage.
It is, I suppose, why we are here in the first place. What price passage whether it be around the world below 40 South or up Kilimanjaro? We shall know soon enough and it is the knowing, is it not, that makes it worth every penny.
Follow my tracks in real-time: