Moon Voyage

I’m in a continual fizz of excitement because of this string of superlative days and nights. Waking up in the middle of the night to see the veil of blue white moonlight and feel the crisp air coming in the windows and listen to the purr and pulse of the hardy crickets makes up for whatever sleep I lose. This seems to be the season of cirrus: When my dog Salty and I went running out in the early morning lunar light, the sky was brushed with pale swaths of graceful translucent cloud among the stars.  They must have been the harbinger of a change: By seven thirty, the sky was whisked of any trace of cloud, and a northerly wind shivered the leaves of the trees that were sliced with low-angled sun and shadow.  The snowy gibbous moon ghosted high above in the blue.

Small craft warnings have been posted for Buzzards Bay and elsewhere for today into tomorrow morning. We might still be in luck for sailing tomorrow, though, since by the time we get down there the wind may have relaxed. Even if the wind puffs, we could reef the sail, head into the inner part of Megansett Harbor, and weave our way up the channel into Squeteague Harbor.  Gusty as the wind may be, the waves won’t have a chance to build up, so we can cruise around without having to wear oilskins and manhandle the helm.  Whatever the conditions are, I’m chafing to get aboard Finn.  Even if we don’t take her off her mooring, I’ll row the dinghy out to her to spend some time aboard. It’s not exactly the idyllic trip Daniel Robb took in his rebuilt Herreshoff that he recounts in the latter part of his wonderful book called Sloop, but it’ll do.

Long after daylight this morning, I glimpsed the moon sailing off toward the northwest, soon to dip behind the tops of the pines. It was on its voyage beyond the curve of the earth, on a course to reunite with us after nightfall following its daylong trip through the unknown.

Yellow Umbrella Books in Chatham, one of my favorite bookstores, may have me for a signing in early October. I’ll know for certain soon.

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