Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17, 2010 Somewhere, over a moonbow....

composed 7-17-10 0415 PST

"Bob and Dirk got to see one of the most sublime weather phenomena the ocean has to offer just before I got on watch (very dark hours of the night). When I came up, they inquired as to whether I'd ever seen a white rainbow. "Oh, a moonbow!" They're very pale, ghostly things but you can still see the colors. I assume that they may happen near/on land too but haven't run into anyone other than a few other sailors who've seen them.

We've been sparring with the "red+white kite" all night. When I came back on watch at 0200, she was getting close to pulling even with us slightly to leeward.

When the first squall hit (a big one), Jeff dropped the pole forward for me and we sprinted almost straight on course. He's
had a very busy watch; we've been making more sail adjustments in the last two hours than he probably wants to think about (pole, spinnaker sheet, vang, mainsheet).

All of a sudden, we saw the other boat's masthead go white (meaning that we were seeing more of his stern than his side). He must have run down with it. The problem for him is that we're pretty close to the edge of the course: falling straight down with the wind is basically lost distance unless a significant shift is coming.

The wind continued to intensify and shift, so we cranked the pole way back and rode it out with some really long sustained surfing.

I've just handed the helm over to Jens and it sounds like the fun is continuing. Hopefully we'll be able to identify that other boat come roll call in the morning."


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