|Gone Fishin' Mixed Media, 8" x 10"|
Acrylic paints, polymer clay, sand, shells, fabric patch
To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.
Perhaps the area around the Balearics was an especially good one for spotting marine life because, during our nine-hour day sail from Ibiza to Majorca, we had another treat in store for us. On my watch in mid-afternoon, the autopilot was steering as usual. I was sitting on deck deeply engrossed in a paperback. I almost jumped out of my skin at the sound of a very loud snort nearby, and looked up to find two large whales had surfaced close to the boat. I called Ed, who came up from below to have a look at the whales, who obligingly reappeared. It was the closest by far we had ever seen whales. I was torn between nervousness at their proximity, and the awe and excitement of seeing the long sleek black bodies gliding in our company.
Later I saw several spume clouds astern, followed by glimpses of the dark bodies as the whales came to the surface to breathe. A study of our whale book led us to believe that what we saw were finback whales, a common whale of 30-70 feet, second in size only to the blue whale. The description of the high spout, the sleek back followed by a view of the dorsal fin, and the fact that the whales didn't show their tail flukes when they dove, all tallied with a sighting of a finback.
As we'd been promised, there was little wind that summer, but when it did come, it made for some peaceful, pleasant meanderings on Tropic Moon. When we were ready to leave the small harbor of San Telmo on Majorca, Ed stopped me just as I was poised to push the button to start the engine. He had decided we would sail out of the harbor, and asked me which sail I wanted to put up. I raised the mainsail, while Ed took care of the mizzen. I took the wheel, and slowly tacked the boat forward, while Ed pulled in on the anchor rope. When the anchor was stowed, he raised the jib sail. We sheeted in the sails as tightly as we could, and slowly - but very slowly - tacked out of the harbor in virtually nonexistent wind.
|Disco Dancer, Mixed Media, 8" x 10"|
Fabric background, Polymer clay head,
Glitter glued for body, Button for disco ball
Having nothing better to do that day, we decided to sail all the way to our next anchorage, though it ended up taking us around five hours to do about eight miles. The wind was what weather people jokingly refer to as 'variable,' which means it goes from nothing to light, and continually changes direction. Really getting into the spirit of things, we hand-steered, did a lot of tacking, and ho-hummed our way through the calms. We went so slowly that often, though we knew we were moving by the bubbles in the water, we were still registering zero on the knot meter.