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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Far From the Land

The moon has now set and stars without number dance overhead in a velvet sky. The warm powerful tradewinds fill the sail and move us onward like a sort of perpetual motion machine.

We spend night after night surging forward into the darkness while seeming to remain in exactly the same spot in a vast heaving watery wilderness. The enormity of this ocean is in a category quite different from that of other oceans. After fifteen days at sea, we are just past completing one quarter of our journey. By contrast, a few years ago, a mere twelve days served to waft us from one side of the Atlantic in Newfoundland to the other side of the ocean in Ireland!

To keep from being conquered by the immensity of the journey, we divide it mentally into manageable portions. Tomorrow we'll cross this latitude or that longitude. The day after tomorrow we'll retard the clocks an hour. .. Imaginary signposts on a featureless road.

The special thing about today is that we have passed the furthest point from land that we will reach on this passage. Isla Guadelupe off the coast of Mexico's Baja California is astern us to the northeast, 1100 nautical miles distant [2040km]. This number grows hourly. Meanwhile, far out to the west on our starboard side lies Cape Kumukahi, the eastern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, an identical 1100 nautical miles away.

We are nowhere near the halfway point in our voyage but land will not be so far away again. From week to week, and sometimes on successive days, different tiny points of land with exotic Polynesian names will take this role as "Nearest Land". We will pass one or two of these closely enough that they grace our horizon for a few short hours, but most, we will only visit in our imaginations.

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At 5/17/2016 12:35 (utc) our position was 18°51.47'N 135°43.13'W

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