The Moon & Stars in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean
Author: Eva Hart, Guilford College
Lat 23˚ 27.8’N x Lon 127˚ 42.2’W
Weather / Sail Plan
Sailing under the Tops’l, Course, Raffee, Fisherman’s stays’l, & Main stays’l earlier this afternoon however this evening sailing under the Main stays’l, Tops’l, & Raffee; Winds Force 2 from the North
First time on deck tonight:
Being up on the quarterdeck this evening after watch was magical. It took a minute for my eyes to adjust after being in white light with the engineers, but after my eyes adjusted and I looked up, wow that sky was beautiful. You could see almost the entire Milky Way and Venus was so bright it looked like someone cut off a quarter of the moon and placed it randomly in the sky. Something was moving. At first I thought it was a plane but heard someone say it was a satellite. I just stared at it in awe not even minding that I hadn’t seen a shooting star. This one moment out of many describes (to some extent) how I have felt on this boat. I have been able to appreciate the beauty in almost everything and I have learned so much through all of the teachers on this trip. Everyone has taught me something and man it is a feeling I have grown to love. I have learned things from science and sailing, the galley and engineers, nature and my watch group, the ship and routine (being on time), etc., etc. I love what Kelly (our “RA” in Woods Hole) said: “if you can’t get out of it, get into it”. This has stuck with me, especially when I have to wake up for dawn watch (starting at 1am and ending at 7am lol). Even though sometimes I feel like I have to push through and sit with the fact that I am going to be uncomfortable, most of the time I find myself at peace and content with what is.
Second time on deck tonight:
For this post I went on deck to get the wind direction and to see which sails we were sailing under. Right when I come on deck from the doghouse I see this big yellow moon with its halo illuminating the clouds. The beam of light shone on the waves making them look trough-shaped. I can’t even describe what the moonlight was doing to the clouds and the waves but whatever it may have been seemed other-worldly. Standing here out in the night for the second time was when I really felt it. The ‘why’ I choose to go on this trip came back to me. I stood for a minute on the port side just looking up at the sky and appreciating, thinking. Thinking of how lucky I was to be sailing out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with incredible people giving off the most positive and optimistic energy. How lucky I was to be rid of the outside world and instead live in the present moment. Although the stars were a lot less bright than earlier they were still visible in the sky and when looking at the moon I could still feel the roundness of the Earth. This is one of my favorite feelings. This with the rocking of the boat reassures me. The Earth has got me. It is holding me. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Sending positive vibes out there to all the land people. Remember to take a minute and breathe. Appreciate Mother Nature.
- Eva Hart, Guilford College
(P.S when taking this photo I thought about you mom, being this high up on a durable yet bouncy net)
Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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