The vastness of planet Earth is never more palpable than when far at sea. Stars shine brightly from horizon to horizon with no light pollution to block the magnificent view. The inky blackness of a moonless night on a calm sea makes one feel as though you are suspended in space, gliding gracefully along 3 miles above the sea floor. I sit in our comfortable pilothouse monitoring our place in this vastness to an accuracy of 3-4 feet. The dim glow of our array of instruments surrounds me, each with its story to tell, all of which collectively inform our state of health and progress toward our destination. I consider how easy today’s technology makes such travel possible and am in awe of the old salts crossing oceans with little more than a sextant and a timepiece. Crude charts, little understanding of currents, no weather, no communications, and no accurate position data. Amazing.

Of course, even with today’s technology, the trawler cruising lifestyle isn’t easy. The luxuries come with complexity. It takes significant effort to purchase, equip and understand the totality of these vessels. They are mini-ships with complex electrical systems, networked electronics, hydraulic systems, multiple engines, stabilizers, water makers, etc. Things can break, they can frustrate, aggravate, even infuriate. Yet these remarkable machines are magic carpet rides, capable of taking us to far-flung corners of the planet in comfort and safety. What better way to explore, to see the rare sights, to experience remarkable people and places? It’s moments like these, a quiet night watch in the pilothouse, a magnificent moonrise, a broaching whale, reaching a beautiful lagoon on a remote island, arriving at an exotic or even a mundane destination in ones own vessel that make it all worthwhile.

(Random thoughts from Tivoli, a Nordhavn 50, 280 nautical miles due-west of St. George’s, Bermuda.)

2 thoughts on “Night-Watch”

  1. SUBJECT: Re: Night-Watch

    Today”s blog reads like a Hemingway novel. You have a way with words, my friend. Congrats for living the dream.

    Sent from my iPhone

    > On May 21, 2017, at 10:28 AM, wrote:

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