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Weather, Learning and the First Week at Sea

Photo by Ben RogersWind went light early this morning. There was talk of setting the deis’l and motoring a while, but thankfully the wind perked back up a few hours into a nice 15-knot westerly. A weak low-pressure system has finally passed over us, and now we are catching the top edge of the incoming high.

We’ve been learning a lot here, and improving daily, and of all the learning that’s been going on, some of the most fascinating has been the lessons in weather analysis, both in weather faxes and studying the sky overhead, and then how the ship’s adapts to the observations and predictions. One of the most basic fundamentals of this process is the direction the systems rotate, low pressure systems rotating counterclockwise, and highs clockwise. The way we catch these winds is very much like surfing wherein we want to ride on the northern edge of the highs, and the southern edge of lows for fair winds in our passage east across the North Atlantic. So far it has been going well, and today, as the high moved in and the winds shifted from northwesterly to southwesterly, the skies cleared and the air warmed up enough that people could shed layers and walk around barefoot. It feels good padding around the sunny deck without shoes, feels natural.

And after our 4pm-8pm watch I sat on the Aloha deck with Bruce and a bowl of cereal and watched the sun set behind us, the high wispy clouds turning to steel as the blushing tangerine glow skirted away, drawn slowly behind in the ceaseless parade of fire westward. Though we’ve only been gone a week, the voyage so far has been fantastic, due in no small part to the quick camaraderie and fast learning of the hands aboard.

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