“At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist:
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!”
It wasn’t death in the form of a ship coming to claim the lives of the crew, and my lips were not so dry that I needed to moisten them with blood to make a sound.
But I saw a sail nonetheless.
AIS informed me that it was a 15m French yacht with the MMSI (a unique ship ID) of 227553080, sadly it didn’t provide the yacht’s name. He was 8 miles to starboard with a bearing towards Gambier. With his extra 5m length, he had a knot over me, and I never got any closer. His sails looked a pretty white through the binoculars as they glinted in the sun.
I tried to hail him over VHF, but he never replied. Perhaps his radio wasn’t on, or perhaps he thought I was a pirate.
He remained in the distance for most of the afternoon, sails dipping above and below the horizon with the small swell, until I lost him at twilight.
The breeze returned yesterday afternoon, and has continued all of today, along with clear skies and sunshine to boot!
With such a lovely breeze, I made my way north east obtaining a respectable run of 115 miles, and I’m now parallel with Bundaberg.
I have good memories of Bundy from my Queensland days, It’s good to reminisce.
Latitude: -24.946, Longitude: -136.334, Time: 05:04:02 24-05-2018 UTC