Georges Bank

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 17 Jul 2007 20:02

Noon Position:  41 54.5 N  068 18.6 W

Course: 060, Speed: 4 knots

Wind: Southeast 7 knots

Daily Run: 89 miles

Average speed: 3.7 knots


Some wind arrived at about 5 p.m. but oh so light, and from the direction in which we wished to go.  I suspect most sailors are pessimists at heart, a useful defense mechanism, expect headwinds and you are rarely disappointed and ever so pleased when they turn favorable, but then perhaps one has to be something of an optimist to even contemplate sticking a sailing boat’s bows in the general direction of the ocean.  We did our best to make the most of the breeze but after drifting back over the shoals for the third time a general crew meeting led the skipper to decide to burn some fossil fuel to clear the shoals and coastal shipping lanes once and for all.  At 10.30 p.m., reluctantly, I started the Yanmar and we motored for the rest of the night.  This morning as the sun rose, still motoring, the sea was mirror smooth, the fog had cleared and a patch of high cirrus adorned the otherwise clean crisp sky.  Terns wheeled and glided, surfing the short low swell, leaving long tiny furrows as they dipped their banking wing tips in the clear blue sea.  Dolphins porpoised slowly past, challenging Paul to catch their disappearing dorsal fins on film, celebrating life with us on such a morning as we tucked into our scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast.


Now the wind is teasing us again, at 11.30 ripples on the water tempted me to sail, so here we are, just north of Georges Bank well on our way to Nova Scotia, managing to maintain steerage way in the light southeasterly breeze with only the occasional complaint from the mainsail as it slats against the rig. 


Tomorrow a fair wind is forecast.


The seas and skies are things all living creature on this small blue planet hold in common.  Economists call them externalities, the free gifts of nature.  Only two advanced nations have not ratified the Kyoto Treaty: the United States and Australia – the prisoner’s dilemma played out in a tragedy of the Commons.