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Ocean Planet Report
Monday Evening of November 11, 2002, 2130gmt (9:30pm)
Pos: Lat: 10,59.33s Lon: 026,47.51w 



Whether racing crewed or solo, speeding along at night is one of the special experiences of ocean sailing. On one hand the darkness provides an insulation from the surroundings that is hard to explain, especially when the clouds block the stars, but when the stars or the moon provide light, the vastness of the sky is overwhelming. The dim light makes the water seem to be flying by, giving a unique sensation of speed as we are skid along on the soft, hissing surface. The smoothness is occasionally interrupted by a short fall off a wave and resultant muffled boom as the speeding hull abruptly stops its downward motion. 

The world’s colors are muted in the dark, sort of like watching a black and white movie that has had some limited coloration for sheer artistic value. Down below life is at a constant angle of heel and you move slowly to avoid a fall. There is no sense of direction other than the instruments. Suddenly there will be a loud whack and clatter, like a winch handle has come to life and is scurrying about the deck….another flying fish has erred in its flight plan and hit the boat…

I will go outside and lean for a while on the running backstays at the back of the boat. It is the perfect place to view Ocean Planet’s tireless motion across her namesake, and I am briefly at peace until a small flicker in the luff of the main or an unwelcome change in the glowing numbers on the cockpit instruments means that it is time again for some adjustments. Then the computer screen below gets my attention . . . time to write something down.

Hope things are well in the “real” world, but it’s hard to be more real than here.



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