The Perfect Reach

After crossing the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain, we were cruising south about twenty miles off the Moroccan coast. Just before dusk the wind freshened and turned off our port quarter so we stowed the mainsail and continued with just the Genoa. The wind was pulling us, the swell was pushing us and a half knot ocean current was also helping us on our way. The heavily laden boat was perfectly balanced and we were helming with just two fingers.

sailing towards the sunset
sailing towards the sunset

After twilight no lights were to be seen except the far off glow of fishermans navigation lights. As the day faded the stars began to appear until the entire sky was filled with tiny pricks of light and the milky way oozed from horizon to horizon. Navigation was no more difficult than pick a distant star and head for it.

The sea was deepest black, just an expanse of nothingness spread to the horizons. Only behind us a stream of phosphorescence showed that our log was correct and we were truly making way across this endless dark pond.

milky way
“the milky way oozed from horizon to horizon”

And then the dolphins joined us. They appeared as white underwater ghosts trailing streams of phospherescent bubbles as they streaked and turned around and under our boat. On all sides we could enjoy their speed and agility as they chased one another in a three dimensional game of tag.

Behind us the wind; above us the stars; below us the deep dark ocean and around us dolphins enjoying life. Who would ask for more.

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