Roughly thirty hours ago we sailed into the zone of high pressure
extending up from the south.
The winds went from good to light to nothing and we spent hours trying to
keep Dawn Star moving in anything resembling the right direction. Gray
was again the order of the day, but there was no fog so the horizon
stood out starkly in all directions. Sailing without electricity also
means having no sailing instruments to go by and we've all been
re-acquainted with sailing by the seat of our pants. Without the
digital knot meter to give us the tenths and hundredths of our minute
sail adjustments, we're using our senses to feel and hear the difference
these changes make. This may be a big disadvantage, but we're having a
good time getting back to our sailing roots and we're all the better for it.
Late in the morning, after hours of drifting with the spinnaker and
fully reefed main'sl, the wind veered 40 degrees and we decided to
jibe to a better course. As Dawn Star slowly rotated under the
spinnaker, which was barely floating aloft as it avoided wrapping around
the forestay, a buoy appeared in the water. It was an orange float,
with a tall mast and pennant flying at it tip. Hard to believe, but we
were actually going around a turning mark, placed in exactly the spot at
the edge of the endless gray universe where we'd decided to change
course. There's no way to tell who put it there or why, but as we
rounded it close aboard, we all believed we had taken a turn for the better.
Hours later, the wind came up and we've been making a fast track down
the line, gaining one hundred miles on Carina, who's been stuck in the
light air we'd sailed North to avoid. So far so good, and the finish is
now the light at the end of the tunnel.