Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mac Race Night 2 Random Thoughts--What Happens on a Night Sail

I'm on the first watch tonight (Saturday), 9:00pm to 3:00 am. Conditions are mild and the auto pilot is doing a fantastic job keeping us sailing straight and the winds are steady so sail trimming is minimal.

I'm up with Mike and Megan. Todd is sitting up with us until he's ready for sleep. Mike and Megan are seeing who'll see the first shooting star of the night while I'm enjoying some of Mike's ice coffee. It's very rich, tasting almost like a strong smoky stout.

We're 30+ miles from Mikwaukee and we can see the tops of fireworks and heard the booms from the grand finale.

We estimate it takes over 3+ minutes for the sound to reach us (7 seconds/mile). Yes, we CAN hear the fireworks from 30 miles away. It's that quiet in the middle of the lake.

Megan has her star finder appout and is showing us the planets.

The red LED lighting down below is nice. It's bright enough to finf things, doesn't kill night vision, and doesn't use much power (0.4 amps).

When Mike asks for brownies, give him just one. Don't give him the full pan with a knife.

We saw two satellites nearly cross paths. One was moving west to east. Less than a minute later another passed south to north over the same part of the sky (straight up) as the first.

Midnight: We see the first boats from the Saturday start. 1:00 am, they pass us.

We see Jupiter rise. Megan points out Neptune and Uranus. Mike makes the obligatory jokes.

We passed the 100 mile point after 34 hours. The previous two years we covered 100+ miles in the first 24 hours (140+ two years ago). Let's hope the slow part of the race is over!

Megan's iPod has been playing for awhile. Most of the music has been good. Mike wants more Dave Mathews.

Megan wakes Kevin, Todd, and Jake up for their watch. I brief them on what happened during the night and what to watch for in the coming hours. I'll get up at 9:00 for breakfast.

It's now 4:00 am. I'm laying in the aft cabin listening to my radio while finishing this entry. I'll sleep with my sleep mask so the morning sun doesn't bother me. The motion of the boat is very gentle and it is very quiet even though we're moving at 4+ knots. The only sounds are the gentle rush of water over the hull a few feet from my head and the quiet conversation and music from the cockpit above me.

It'll be a great night for sleeping and getting ready for Sunday's sailing.

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