Signposts in the sky

Woken up in the night with a coffee by Heidi to start my shift. Half moon was about 40° above the horizon so the time was roughly two in the morning. The southern cross was off to port (left) so our course was west. The water could be heard running past the hull so we were making over three knots in the correct direction.

We have all sorts of electronic toys on board. With the magic of GPS, we can be sure of the time to the second, our speed to a tenth of a knot and our position to about three meters. Nice – but irrelevant. The moon, the stars and the sounds of the boat tell us all we really need to know.

Two years ago, the northern star – Polaris – was our guide. A quick glance at the big dipper showed us where it was and we knew our course “good enough”. But Polaris long ago disappeared below the northern horizon and now we have new friends – Kruz, Garkruz and Arkruz, three points of a cross and Kantaurus and Hadar pointing towards them. New stars above a new ocean guiding us on to new lands.

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