When I came out for my watch at 2000 last night, the moon was nearly full .. it will remain that way for a few glorious nights. Turning further north, we're travelling faster now. I reached up to grasp the steel of an overhead cross-bar in the surreal brightness. Every feature of the boat was sharply-etched. The white sails - straining under the heavy load of wind, the brightness of the metal holding me inside the cockpit and the gleaming wavecrests pounding past in an endless array ... I hung on and leaned back - looking up at the sails and feeling as if I were a racing horse. Wind coursed through my mane and erased the sweat on my unharnessed body ... I was ecstatic with the joy of speed! A few brave stars continued to twinkle from their distant posts - caught in the net spread over the sky. The sharp limits of color and outline made it feel like Trav and I were part of a fabulous art-deco poster.
After my off-watch sleep, I came out four hours later to find a greatly magnified moon. It was now a bright harvest orange and was resting on the horizon.
It's 0600 now and I'll go out with my coffee to watch the sun come out.
We've passed the halfway point in our trip to Honolulu ... Larry's route predictions are turning out to have been well-founded. We're currently experiencing good winds and these will carry us up to the desired optimal point for crossing the equator.
I made special meals to celebrate reaching the halfway point yesterday during my turn to cook. The advantages of using the pressure cooker to cook are beginning to be outweighed by the disadvantages of having blasts of steam during the hottest parts of the day. There's not a lot of air circulation - with our quick speed and the possibility of waves crashing over the deck - we're keeping most of our hatches closed. On the menu for lunch yesterday was 'Split Pea Soup with Cranberries and Apple Cider' (had to use white wine - see p.94 of my Great Pressure Cooker Cookbook) and 'Chicken Breasts with Peach Jam and Bourbon' (page 278). For this, not having peach jam I used some of Em Bergen's special jam and Scotch (OOPS - I can hear you screaming out there - what a WASTE of Glenlivet). But it had to be done - only partly because of a complete lack of bourbon on the boat ... but mostly for safety reasons. The cookbook chefs warned: "There's little chance the bourbon will ignite ... if it does, set the lid onto the cooker and take it off the heat ... " The leftover soup is frozen and will be disinterred sometime during the trip north to Canada (in a few months).
Meanwhile, I'll probably cook my share of meals at night after this ... cold pasta salads seem like a great idea.
At 2018-02-28 13:10 (utc) our position was 04°00.91'S 117°16.72'W