Slow and Steady

Yesterday’s quote from Karen, aka “The Harmonie Sage,” “When everything is so perfect, why would you want to rush to the end?” It might have be that some people would have found the sailing for most of this trip to be frustratingly slow, but with very few exceptions there was always enough wind to keep the sails full and the boat moving in the general direction we wanted to go, and with at least enough speed to steer.

The calm seas, and quiet left us with a collection of wildlife encounters that have been truly exceptional. By way of example: sailing along at a sedate 3 or 4 knots, we had a small pod of three oceangoing bottlenose dolphin come and spend an hour or more playing with the boat. The big, dark colored, scared, old male, the female and the near-adult young one. Each individual had its own preferred game with the boat. The old male would park himself right under the bow, and lead the way, matching speed perfectly. The female preferred to dart from side to side. The youngster was, in the way of all adolescents, more curious and full of energy. Darting back and forth even faster that its mother, it frequently rolled on its side to get a better look at the boat. At the same time this was going on at the bow, we had a much more unusual visitor at the stern. Coasting along, holding station just a few feet behind the boat, was a very large shark. Although we have seen sharks gather around the boat in the hope of an easy meal while we were stopped to catch fish, this is the first time we have seen one actively following along for extended distances. There was no sense of playful enthusiasm like that displayed by the dolphins, this was all about business…

The wind has now picked up, running 10 to 15 knots. Absolutely perfect, comfortable sailing weather. We are approaching Cape Hatteras in absolutely beautiful conditions. When we make this trip, turning left at Hatteras makes the transition from blue water passage-making to coastal sailing as we approach the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Although it feels like it makes the end of the trip, we still have 150 miles to go before we can drop anchor.

Right now our plans are to pull into Norfolk, anchor, sleep, and make our next move based on weather and whim.

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