Wednesday 22 July 2015

Quite a night

At a little before 9 PM I was woken up by Bill shouting my name. Those that know me know I don't wake up easily. I answered and was told that I was needed on deck. I arrived in the pilot house to find Zeke struggling with the wheel. I'm informed that it is blowing 30 knots and we need to take down the para sail( a spinnaker). I'm asked if I'm awake enough to proceed and answer yes so my next question is do we need our life jackets. The answer is yes bring them all. I grab all 3 put mine on and head for the trampoline at the front of the boat.   Bill gets the lines used to pull the fibreglass sock down over the para sail untangled. Once we are ready we check with Zeke at the helm to make sure he is ready. He is so he releases the sheet and down haul on one side & Bill starts to pull the sock down dousing the para sail. I notice he is being pulled forward so I grabbed the down haul above where Bill is holding and using all my body weight pull down. The sock continues to come down over the chute at the front of the para sail. As we got the sock to the bottom I tried to gather in the rest of the sail and the sheets and down hauls. I'm unable to hold them as they are flapping too much. Bill hollers. "We need to drop the halyard ". Zeke says he's got it & Bill and I gather in the para sail in its sock as it comes down the best we can. We then put out a small part of the jibe. Bill and I gather up the para sail and tie it to the trampoline after coiling up the sock down haul lines. Bill announces that we will leave the down haul line and sheets attached as he hopes we will put the para sail up again in the morning. He then thanks me for coming to his rescue when he was being pulled forward. We tied the para sail to the trampoline.  I asked if we are done and if I can head back to bed. 
At 2:45 I'm awake and get ready for my shift. On deck I notice there is lightning in front of us and to the starboard side. After checking the radar I determine there is no rain in a 48 mile radius around us so we shouldn't be in for any squalls for a while. The stars are brilliant with no moon. In the distance I notice a flashing light. I determine as it goes behind clouds and then appears that it's an airplane. Then I notice a 2nd one just in front of it. A half hour later I notice a 3rd plane on the same flight path. Through the night I observed 5 shooting stars. Someone will have to check to determine if the South Pacific has meteor showers or had a meteor shower in the early morning on July 21. All in all a very exciting night. Didn't spot any boats though

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