Our 2-6 am night watch was brightly lit by a full moon tonight. Our skies changed only briefly for a few squalls (rain showers) that brought welcomed wind. A “moonbow” on the east horizon about a half hour before a rip roaring red sunrise filled our skies. We paused to take in this small celestial wonder before swabbing (cleaning) the deck and making coffee for the crew who arose for breakfast. As we settle ourselves in for the usual morning routine of changing shift, cleaning up and helping prepare breakfast, Austin spotted a dolphin. The beauty and intelligence of this creature always makes one stop and watch. Our enthusiasm soared when we realized there were no less than 50 dolphins including their keiki racing around the wa’a. The dolphins seemed as thoroughly entertained by our presence as we were with theirs. Crewmembers joining from below deck were lulled out of their slumber by the sounds of the underwater dolphin chatter. Other crewmembers (safely) clipped themselves onto sheaths toward the bow of the wa’a so they could lean over and glean a closer look. Some crewmembers captured underwater images of the moment on GoPros. The dolphins eventually grew tired of our slow “swimming” wa’a and eventually broke off to continue on their journey. What a great moment.
We are about 7 degrees north latitude today. Despite a few squalls and moments of vessel movement reaching 8-10 knots, we have been in the doldrums, a band of ocean near the equator where current and wind are often calm, for the last 5 days. We are slowly working ourselves north to take advantage of the North Equatorial Current and the Northeast trade winds. It is only then that can we expect to increase the nautical miles covered per day to cover the less than 1000 miles remaining to reach Honolulu. We have become our own little world here on the wa’a. Through common vision, discipline, constant communication and a surrounding envelop of aloha, one can feel the ties that will bind us long after this journey. These ties have been made and fortified despite the usual barriers of race, ethnicity and income. PVS voyages are supposed to represent the process or journey one takes to understand one’s individual responsibility to care for and help sustain one’s own community in harmony and health. It will be interesting to see how each of us translates this into our individual daily lives once we return to land.