There are ten or so birds all around us and the clouds look like mountains against the orange strip of sunset resting on the ocean. I want so badly to know about these birds. How did they get 800 miles from the nearest point of land and how are they going to get back? They aren't landing on the boat to rest. This really amazes and perplexes me. Still, the hint of land life that they provide is a comfort. The sea is back to its quiet, infinite ripples. The sight brought with it a peace that I wasn't expecting. What was once frustrating is now a welcome beauty. We slept in the Vberth last night with the stars visible through the open hatch and it was the best sleep I've had in many nights. A few days of this may prolong our trip, but it has renewed a vitality that had been trapped, hiding away from those seemingly endless angry waves.
Today was our first slow day. It was actually a nice break from the pitching and sloshing that has been the trip so far. Highlights are few and far between, but one would be catching another fish of the same variety as the first time. It tasted amazing and I will remember it fondly despite the violent illness that followed that night.
Each morning we wake up and send our coordinates to David and Mary on "Adventurous" so that they can send us weather updates. It is a comfort to know that they are only 3 days ahead of us on the same ocean. Even though we can't see anything or anyone past the vast expanse of blue, we don't feel completely alone.
It's been a very different experience on this leg of the journey. We are more relaxed about watches because there is no one remotely close to us and we are able to sleep in the quarter birth since It's just the two of us. Meals are eaten whenever we feel hungry, and there have only been 3 or 4 sail changes the entire trip. Dill went up today for the first time and it was a refreshing change just to have something to do. I'm definitely not exercising enough. I can feel it when I become winded simply standing by the stove to cook chicken. I'll have to fix that.
We're averaging more than 100 miles a day so far. On the first leg, we didn't even do that once. Herby's very excited and absolutely loves it out here. I'm excited to get to the Azores. Sailing is fun and rewarding, but I don't have the same intense passion that he does. I think it will feel really good to say that this is something I've done. Sometimes I look out at the sunlight draping itself over the endless waves and wonder how in the world I ended up here in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with one other person in a 45 foot sailboat. It happens pretty often actually; this out-of-body experience of disbelief and deep questioning. There are two things I'm certain of though: 1, I never would have done this if I hadn't married Herby. And 2, I'm so glad I married Herby.
It's just the two of us now. We left Bermuda at around 5pm and are making good time so far. Everything is more relaxed because we don't need to prove anything to anyone but ourselves, and we know we can do it. Everything is familiar and comfortable out on the Ocean again. No jitters this time. It feels right to be crossing.
When crossing an ocean East to West or West to East, you will be crossing many time zones.
Time zones are an artificial creation by humans to help organize our days in a predictable fashion. It is much easier to proclaim that the work day starts at 9am and ends at 5pm and not have to specify where this time is taken and how to convert to your local time.
Time zones change 1 hour every 15 degrees of longitude. This means as you sail across an ocean, every 15 degrees will mean that your clocks will change by an hour.
You have a few choices here on the matter, you could keep your clocks on the same time as the country you departed from or the country you will arrive at, and simply deal with the variance in sunrise and sunset times. You could also adjust your clocks as you progress across the ocean. And lastly, you could ignore the constructs of time zones all together and live by UTC time.
We are buddy boating across the Atlantic with an Australian couple on "Adventurous" and they are advancing their clocks by 1 hour as they cross the time zones.
Maddie has not adjusted the time zone on her phone as we have sailed across two time zones, so it has its own time. I have set my phone to UTC time and simply ignore the constructs of time zones all together.
For me, noon is when the sun is directly overhead. That is when I take the moon sight with the sextant. Time zones make it difficult to know which hour I should be getting ready to take the sight. As we advance East, I know it will be a few minutes earlier than last time. At this current moment, I start getting my sextant ready at 3pm UTC. I am ready and I don't miss the sun.
Now, timezones make it easy for daily living if you live by a clock. You eat breakfast at this time, you eat dinner at that time, you awake at this time, you sleep at that time. But while cruising, all of that can go over the side of the deck! We sleep when we are tired and we eat when we are hungry. Some days, we have one meal, other days are spent cooking and eating in entirety! Since time is immaterial to us, I feel fine having a clock that simply tells me my latitude instead of how to live my life.
With watches Maddie and I don't really follow a time schedule. Instead she does first watch until she is tired. I do the next watch until I am tired. This way, neither of us is forced to be out there if we are falling asleep.
When crossing an ocean, time is a construct that you can use or be used by. On the boat, the choice is yours since no one is telling you what to do.