Behold the Stars!

Presently, Bodacious Dream and I have put about 1700 miles between us and New Zealand and have just less than 4000 miles to go to get to the Galapagos Islands. The weather gods have been kind with us the past week as we sailed along in pretty steady conditions making 200 miles or more a day!

As we approach Tuesday this week, the weather conditions are likely to become challenging, and we’ll need to find our way past two low-pressure systems that are swinging down from the north — between us and the Galapagos. This may prove a boon if a front comes through that we can hitch a ride on, but it might also mean we have to hold tight to our eastward course until we get much closer to the coast of Chile before we can turn and sail north.

Our objective is to get into the prevailing south winds and then to the SE trade winds at around 30°N. That’s about 16° latitude north of where we are now. If you followed our earlier math lesson posts, you can likely tell me about how far that is. If not, here’s a hint: each degree of latitude represents 60 miles of distance!

2711_sunset46.303469S, 148.377016W

The skies have been mostly cloudy the past 10 days. I’ve had some glimpses of sunshine, but not many. In fact, as I write this, the sun is pushing its way through the clouds. In the late afternoon, as the sun begins to set, the edges of the clouds turn a warm orange-pink color for a short time signaling that the sun is approaching the horizon. Yesterday, I caught some very pretty colors and clouds during this time.

2695_moonA bit further to the East from where the sun set yesterday, there was a break in the clouds just long enough for me to catch sight of the moon. I know it’s up there and I can follow the time the moon and sun rise and set via my navigation instruments, but not seeing those celestial bodies themselves, is just not as much fun.

Very late last night … actually early in the morning when I went on deck to do my walkabout, the skies had cleared enough that I could see the stars again. Out here … alone in such a remote place … the presence of the stars glistening in the vastness of the sky elicits a special kind of emotion, one that reminds me I am not really alone.

As my day-to-day existence this week has been largely routine, I sometimes lose perspective on the significance of it all … but then I think of all of you following this dream as it unfolds and I regain my perspective and once again realize how lucky I am to be able to experience all this and how lucky too that I am able to share it with you all … through the gracious help of our sponsors … Earthwatch InstituteHurricane Island Outward Bound School and Henri Lloyd … and through my magical editor and online guru Mark Petrakis back in California. Thank you one and all!

We have also begun to doing some video edits with the help of a dear and talented friend, Helen Babalis … starting with the amazing ones of Fox Glacier … with more to come.

Fox Glacier, NZ – Beautiful Sculpted Ice Formations

I also want to thank the brilliant Tegan Mortimer for her fantastic science notes. I hope you are enjoying those and choosing to share them with the younger folks in your world. There’s just SO much to learn and know about this world isn’t there? I learn something new (and astonishing) every day I’m out here.

A little rainbow in my day …

So for now, from a long ways away … enjoy the return of spring to your northern climes!

– Dave, Franklin and Bodacious Dream
46.5028S, 141.1433W

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