Sailing Again - Just?
Course: Southwest Speed: 4 knots
Wind: North, gentle breeze
Weather: Sunny, warm
Day's Run: 17 miles
I am relieved to say that Sylph, BC and I have set no new tortoise records
today. A light breeze picked up at dawn, I set the drifter which drew us
along at two knots. Now we have the jib poled out to starboard and at
midday were making good four knots though as I write it isn't looking so
It is going to be hard to beat yesterday's record for least distance run and
we came close to beating our record (BBC - Before Bob Cat) for longest time
becalmed, thus far 48 hours back in 2003 while crossing the Atlantic from
Cape Town to Antigua. This time I'd say we equalled it. Of course we have
the Doldrums to contend with yet (or their modern less eloquent name - the
inter-tropical convergence zone, or ITCZ for short - yuk!). My last crossing
in Sylph we crossed it in one night, I couldn't believe my luck. It will be
interesting to see how we fare this time.
We have left our fish behind us. For a while I was wondering what is the
best way to shut BC up. Catch the fish and feed them to BC - a temporary
solution, or to catch BC and . . . get thee behind me Satan.
I have just picked up a book about Columbus's voyages written mostly from
contemporary manuscripts including Columbus's logs and letters. He spent two
days becalmed in the vicinity of the Canaries as well, 6-8 September 1492.
The next 33 days of his log can be summed up as, "We sailed west."
And have just finished reading "The Book of J", a new translation of the J
strand from the Old Testament (or more accurately the Torah) by David
Rosenberg and a critical commentary by Harold Bloom. Both Bloom and
Rosenberg are Jews obviously, Bloom is clearly an atheist (interesting how
you can be an atheist Jew but not an atheist Christian), don't know about
Rosenberg. Old Bloom can be quite outrageous but he sure gets you thinking.
He surmises that J was actually a court woman, perhaps a princess, living
during Solomon's and Rehoboam's reign and argues that her creative
imagination rivals Shakespeare's; after all she created this
'incommensurate" character Yahweh, the basis of three major religions,
which no one has been able to come close to since. As Bloom notes, Milton
failed miserably. Bloom's first few introductory chapters I found rather
polemical against orthodox Judaism and especially Christianity, which put me
off but his commentary after the translation is fascinating.
Anyway that is some of what I do while I am out here drifting around.
Now we sail - sort of.
All is well.
I love you too skipper Bob, not particularly enamoured with your sense of
Now we sleep. Zzzzzzz.