Last night, C Watch stood both morning watch and dawn watch the following evening. Sorry I know that dawn watch happened the next day. But it was too cool not to put in this blog. Anyways I've taken to learning new constellations every night. As I stood lookout, bracing my legs for the heavy rises and falls of the bow, Scorpio loomed bright before me.
While I know the collection of stars as a great scorpion sent to kill Orion after the giant hunter boasted he would hunt every animal on Earth, the Polynesians have their own myths about the constellation. To them, it signifies the hook of Maui. Maui was the Polynesian demigod who tamed the sun and fished the islands with his bone hook. While the stories may sound fanciful, many scholars agree that Maui was most likely an ancient gifted navigator, who led the ancient Polynesians through their voyages across the vast seas. Lord knows we could use somebody like that after I steer the boat.
We also did lots of cool sailing yesterday throughout both the watches. On morning watch we struck the jib. After easing the halyard and pulling the downhaul, the loose sail thrashed wildly about in the wind. We climbed out on the bow sprit netting and wrangled the sail before strapping it down with reef knots.
Towards the end of the evening watch, the sun rose sheltered by clouds on the horizon. The vibrant yellows and oranges eventually shone through the clouds to the east, while a rainbow formed across the deck to the west. I hope that beauty of the landscape and the wonderful feelings it inspired will stay with me for a while. Well, life's been pretty damn sweet.
To my Mom and Dad, I love you both and I am excited to hear all about how life has been the past months. I see why you both fell in love with sailing, and I can't wait to share all my stories with you.
Jack Chorley, Dartmouth College