The missing night

Time 09NOV2018, 18:00 local
Latitude N 27° 03.9’
Longitude W 79° 16.w’
Weather: E, 8, gusting 10. Clear
Course: 165°M
Speed: 4.4 knots
Water temperature: 84.0°F
Nautical miles from Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel: 616NM
Nautical miles to Port Everglades, Florida: 73NM

One of the most spectacular things about sailing offshore is the night sky. Hundreds of miles from any other lights, on a moonless night the splash of the Milky Way across the zenith can hold your attention for hours.

Coming up on deck to start a night watch, the first thing is always a look up at the sky. Of course you are getting a feel for the weather, but it also just awes and stirs the soul.

I came up for my first night watch last night as we made out turn around Little Bahama Bank I to the Straits of Florida. I was treated by a clear sky, sparkling with stars, but fewer than I expected, and no Milky Way at all. Even though we were 50 miles from the coast of Florida, the artificial light leaking up into the sky washed out the view. I wonder how many people reading this can walk out into the moonless night and REALLY see the stars? A very lucky few, I imagine.

We should be in Florida dropping anchor tomorrow afternoon on the way to a haulout Monday morning.

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