Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weather Fronts

I think you have to be on the prairie or at sea to observe a slow
moving weather front. The approaching cold front with its reported
hail, violent wind and lightning died out last night just the other
side of Booth Bay. We watched the light show, prepared for the worst
and then went to bed. There was a splash of rain. No more.

This morning I was eager to get the boat tied to the dock at the boat
yard so we could get her cleaned up. I'd spotted a hose on the floats
the previous evening. Once tied up Pete scrubbed the waterline and then
foredeck while I wrote on my laptop. Later I flushed and scrubbed the
cockpit and filled the water tank while Pete wandered around the boat
yard taking more pictures. Somehow being among all those pretty boats
made it a necessity to clean mine. We were on our way at ten, with the
first morning breeze from the Southeast.

We sailed today, all day. The day started tacking downwind and with us
still believing the wind would reach its forecast 15 knots with some
gusts to 20. The swells were still out there. Big waves rose abeam and
made new sudden horizons of jagged water on our horizon. Off Pemaquid
Point we watch Gannets dive into the sea from 40 and 50 feet with such
violence the sea surface exploded and sent a plume of salt water high
into the air along the track of their attack. We also saw seals and an
unidentified fin.

But the real interest today was the front stalled overhead. We must
have crossed back and forth through it two or three times today. On one
side the wind would be cool and from the southeast, on the other, warm
and from the north west -- off the land with the scent of pine pitch and
sand. At other times the division obscured and one moment warm 80
degree puffs of air would warm us, a moment later we'd drift into pockets
of cool air, still damp from offshore. The light was a Luminists dream:
glassy and ominous, colors vibrated with new vividness. Islands shook
in the thermal haze. Mirages rode the waves and fell back into the sea.
Islands and sails came and vanished in sea bound fog.

We anchored tonight in Harbor Island in Musongus Bay.

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