South Pacific Voyage 2012-2013

Off The Spanish Main

Sunset – November 30 – our barque is steering west about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela, what was once called the “Spanish Main”. The island of Aruba is up ahead about 40 miles off the port bow. We may see this low sandy island in the morning. The ship has her yards almost squared and all sail set apart from the spanker, the light breezes being too far aft for this sail just now. These soft tradewinds flow over the starboard quarter moving us along at a fine 5 knots. It is plenty warm but cooling if you are standing in the breeze. The sails are silhouetted over the silhouetted lookout up on the foc’sle head against the striped red sky way up ahead. From time to time the port and starboard running lights glow on the thick foresheets as they swing into these green and red lights. Seas are small, maybe three feet or less. Up on the well deck someone is plucking on a guitar, quite passably too. Sounds like “Yellowbird”, might be DB. We have the weather clew of the mainsail hauled up to let some wind make its way to the foremast and pull us along instead of pushing. This is a smooth quiet evening at sea. Someone else is giving himself a cool seawater bucket bath, can hear the water cascading over the decks. The Caribbean seas wash and chuckle along our waterline as our 560 tons of riveted steel slips through. It is dark night now we can see stars between the clouds and the loom of the lights of Aruba up ahead.