Monday, June 06, 2005

From the Journal

April 23, 1996
two days out of St. Thomas bound for Annapolis, MD


Through the salon and up the companionway, hatch framing a star filled night and as I gain the deck one falls, firing across the sky into darkness. The winds whistles through the rigging and a shadowed figure stands at the wheel reflecting the faint red glow of the instruments. I move to the high side and slide into the cockpit, stand with my chin resting on the canopy and survey the evening.

The boat rockets through the night, sensation of speed increased by the moonless black curtain drawn tightly around us. Wind is steady on the beam, sails filled. Eyes straining I can see brief flashes of whitecaps. We take a swell on the bow and the spray turns red and green from the bow lights. Salt water splashes across the deck and wets my face I lick my lips taste the ocean close my eyes and sway with the motion of the boat. A sense of timelessness - we are outside the sweep of the clock. We move through the night forever... morning will never come. I open my eyes and glance back at the wheel, the helmsman's face jumps briefly at me, lit by the glow as he draws on his cigarette. He nods and I step around, take the helm. It's warm in my hands and I can feel the boat surging underneath me, wheel tugging as the wind gusts and we drive on through the endless night. There's a flicker in the dark just outside my vision...I almost sense instead of see it then I swivel my head and it happens again. Off the port beam, far out on the black horizon heat lightning burns the sky like alcohol.


AdriftAtSea said...

Beautifully written...wish I was there. :D

Zephyr (Sail) said...

Me too!