Ok, if you read an earlier post, you'll know that middle of the night watches haven't always been my thing but experiences continue to temper this. Sunday's 2200 - 200 watch is another example. The evening was outstanding and I thought I'd send my impressions for those not fortunate enough to have a similar experience. I know my writing doesn't convey the half of it.
To me, nothing is more peaceful than sailing on an empty sea at night. Tonight, we're sailing directly toward a almost full moon, newly risen. When clear of clouds, its light illuminates the rollers in silver reflections giving a visual cue to the hiss of the seas as they are parted by Shearwater's bow and flow under us. Rigging sings and sails snap. On a broad reach, the 15 knots of wind isn't intrusive - it's a reference and reminder of what drives this boat.
Our chart-plotter identifies Solution about 5 miles to starboard. Commercial traffic approaching from behind alters its course to pass 12+ miles to port. Another ship approaches from the east and chooses to pass between Solution and us - within a couple miles - in the context of an ocean, a near miss. We are not alone.