Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Southern Cross

I came on watch at 06:00 to find that the wind had conveniently come round to the East a little, bringing us back on track towards our destination. Yesterday it had backed north a bit forcing us to head towards Africa rather more than we needed.

The moon had gone down leaving the night really dark. I was thrilled to see that the Southern Cross, or Crux, was clearly visible above the horizon. A glance astern showed The Plough or Big Dipper upside down, and pointing to the Pole Star. Our position is at 20 02.44 N and 20 30.93W at 07:00 as dawn lightens the sky and the stars are hidden.

Earlier I was on watch at about midnight engrossed in reading a book. I got up for a scan of the horizon to find a very brightly lit cruise ship just a mile away. Rather a shock after seeing nothing for days, and it is a reminder of how quickly things can appear over the horizon. I checked that we were going to pass clear, and then called the Aida Cara to check that they could see us on AIS. I was pleased to hear that was working fine, and that we were also visible on radar. It was rather nice to have a little chat with them as I watched the purple, blue and red flashing lights of their disco floor glide by.

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