How it Goes (Part 2)

Judging by the ambient light, it appears sunrise is due in about 30 minutes.  The silvery shades reflecting off the cabin ceiling are beginning to show hints of a deep orange.  It's time to get up.  I arrange my sleep schedule so I'm beginning the day anew right alongside our celestial timekeepers.  It only takes a few arrangements, then the circadian rhythm takes over quite reliably.  Without having set an alarm for months, I can't recall missing a single sunrise.  

I rotate onto my stomach and tuck my knees under my chest into some version of child's pose.  Based on the space available and safety considerations, I've found this is the best initial maneuver for getting oil back into the joints.  I stretch and pause briefly, then it begins.  I grab a granola bar and the Captain's Log, it's time for the first entry of the day.  Not much closer to my destination.  This is becoming problematic, though partially self-inflicted.  I seem to have a continuous trade-off between desired course and desired speed.  With the winds as they are today, if I want to drive south, I'll be traveling at a pace close to zero.  If I want to drive directly west, I'll be traveling at a pace closer to 1.5 knots.  I'll probably settle for a 230-240 degree course.  Not ideal, but manageable. 

I pause mid-entry to prepare a cup of coffee.  Technically, it's 2 cups.  It's instant coffee, but it gets the job done without complaint.  However, I recently made the alarming discovery that I'm using coffee rations at an unsustainable rate.  I tell myself this is partly because I've never learned the difference between a "heaping" teaspoon and a "rounded" teaspoon.  Or any other spoon-related measuring standard for that matter.  They are all ridiculous.  Consequently, for subsequent hot beverage cravings, I've elected to use one third of a Carnation Instant Breakfast packet doused with 1-2 seconds of honey from a bear-shaped bottle. 

As I finish the log entry, I begin thinking more thoroughly about the weather.  Barometric pressure is holding steady at 1020 millibars.  I'm stuck in the center of the predominant region of high pressure within the eastern North Pacific. I need to move south to clear this region, making way for more favorable conditions.  Weather isn't going to help me get there today.  It also turns out the predominant region of high pressure itself moves south between the months of October and November, so we have competing agendas at the moment. I can also clear the region by moving west, but it may create long-term issues getting around Hawaii.  

If the seas are calm enough, I like to stand outside before getting the day started.  Luckily, today is one of those days.  It's almost calm enough to bring my coffee with me, but I don't.  I step out of the main hatch and position the hard top over the rowing seat into the raised position.  The first blast of cool breeze reminds me of the proximity to danger.  Nevertheless, the 360 degree view is breathtaking.  I absorb the raw beauty.  As suspected, the sky is overcast, but it's not entirely consistent.  It looks like regions of 2,000 foot layers of smooth, light gray stratus clouds at an altitude of 2-3,000 feet.  Embedded within the stratus layers are darker, puffier shaped cumulus clouds, some much darker.  Technically speaking, I suppose this cloud arrangement qualifies as a stratocumulus layer, the most common type of cloud arrangement. 

On the eastern horizon is crystal clear band of radiant blue sky, only two fingers thick, with your arm fully outstretched.  The sun already ascended beyond the thin blue gap, transforming the gray clouds above into an orange and yellow luminescent semicircle.  On the western horizon is a dark, confused mass, far in the distance.  It's so far in the distance, the bases of the clouds are obscured by the horizon itself.  I briefly wonder how a flat-earther might explain the phenomenon, but I immediately get bored.  No signs of imminent precipitation, but some of those darker cumulus might turn cumulonimbus before the day's end.  High altitude clouds are obscured at the moment, but I'm anticipating a decent view by 1100 local.  To be continued...

Paddle On