As we near Point Conception, the ocean folds into a field of slippery hills, each wave piling an ever greater volume of the sea before us. I have relinquished the helm to John, clipped onto a jackline and lurched forward to cling to, and lean against, a trio of shrouds. They are arranged in a comfortable triangle, seemingly for my support while standing watch. Our impermanence is confirmed by each wave, a child of the vast communal body of water, of the same makeup but unique. They slip under my feet; under the deck; under my mates, sleeping, reading, cooking and perhaps playing Mexican Train; under our tiny dryish world. Each ridge slides under our puny mass.
For this watch, and the last, we have seen an abundance of jellies sliding past with the waves. Translucent orbs, milky with plum splashes, they wash past the hull trailing gelatinous lace. They’re a staple for Mola mola, a fish I would love to see. Read more
I jerk awake as adrenaline squirts into my veins. Have we hit something? A whale, a container, a crate of shoes? No. The thump is on the sole, not the hull. I take a long breath. Has something fallen? No. The boat is neither pitching nor yawing nearly enough to toss some heavy load onto the floor. I peek around my lee cloth to see the dark figure of the First Mate Eleanor pulling on her shoes, illuminated by her red flashlight. She has launched herself from the bunk above me to prepare for the change of watch, her third watch in 24 hours. She is covering for a mate stricken with seasickness. Read more