Day 85 August 12 North Pacific Ocean
“The sky seemed to clear, then I realized it was not a rift in the clouds but the white crest of an enormous wave.” ~ Ernest Shackleton |||
Under a dense blanket of lingering cloud, a long and rolling northeast swell catches the ship on the starboard quarter, a forceful and regular shove. I feel our westward movement in every step of my gait, transmitted to my feet by the surging deck. My sea legs are steady and I move with the practiced grace of an old salt, skipping lightly above the teak on the sticky tips of rubber soles. But something seems different.
On the beam a dull gray sea of tiny ripples stretches to the horizon, where all that gray turns abruptly into a single uncontested triumphant line of blue, a heroic blue, a terrible blue, a taut blue cord dividing ocean and sky, like the sharp edge of wide eyes in the moonlight. It beckons from the horizon at all quarters and then it comes closer, first grasping, then pulsing, reaching down across the waves, breathing out until the entire surface brims blue, dark and sinister, gobbling up the gray and leaving the lower world in stark contrast to the sky above. The sky is crisp, a springtime sky, dry and crackling, aglow with a blindingly complete and unblemished light, a perfect blue too glorious to grasp. Washed to the east by this relentless blue, the clouds have gone.
It is a typical day underway: an ample breakfast with heaps of fresh melon (while it lasts), choir, hula class, reading in canvas chairs on deck. The galley serves lunch a tad late, but no one really minds – it is a “pub lunch” and it sticks to my ribs. Formal for dinner, right on schedule. I wear a green velvet dress and pearls. Ever the gossip, Larraine dishes a juicy rumor: a new chum has washed laundry in the hot tub. Full points for creativity, mate, but the inevitable explosion of suds means the tub’s lengthy closure.
After dinner the dark blue line is back, taunting me, teasing its way across the horizon under pinkening, bushy clouds. Elegant in my finery and with a big smile, I shield my eyes from the brilliant light of the setting sun and fix the sparkling blue forever in my mind.
Daily Position: N 29º 22’ 12”, W 133º 11’ 54”
Status: Underway, Pacific Ocean making 20 kts
Weather: Sunny & dry, 23º C, NW 5 kts, 1 m swells
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