Next Stop ....

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 25 May 2009 19:10
Position: 44 28.2N 063 18.9W
Course: East Sou'east Speed: 4.5 knots
Wind: South, light breeze
Weather: Sunny, mild, another beautiful day

It seems we are destined to continue single handed, my potential crew member has fallen through, primarily due to timing issues. Oh well, BC and I will just have to rely on each other for amusement.

We are off to a great start for our Atlantic crossing, the sun is shining, the wind is fresh from just forward of the beam, mainsail and jib are full and drawing us along at a very comfortable 4 plus knots. I have decided to go traditional this passage, I have turned the GPS off and broken the sextant out of its box. It's been dusted, oiled and polished, adjusted and corrected, and the first sun sight taken with it earlier this afternoon - all seems to be working so far, We will see how long I can go before I get the jitters and have to peek at that little black and white box with all the numbers on it.

Yesterday I topped up with a few fresh stores and on the way back to the boat met some neighbours anchored nearby, Tom and . darn, I have forgotten her name, from the Netherlands, they are on their way to Newfoundland and maybe Greenland, and then back to Europe. Later in the evening they paid Sylph a visit and purchased a few of my old charts and a cruising guide for Greenland and Iceland. So now I have some Euros in my pocket ready for Ireland and they have a few cheap charts. Good deal. Bob Cat didn't seem to mind the visit either, sat on Tom's lap and got an extra pat.

This morning we weighed anchor at 9 o'clock and went alongside the fuel dock. The shop was closed even though the sign indicated they should have been open. My fuel tanks are still 90% full so I topped up with water, washed the boat down, secured the anchor for sea and got underway. A short motor later we were clear of the confines of North West Arm and out into the bay which forms the entrance to Halifax Harbour. Here we met a light headwind. We set sail and made a number of short tacks to clear the shallows and confines of the Halifax approaches, and now we are well on our way. As we cleared Ketch Head, the wind veered a little which allowed sheets to be eased and the desired course set on the windvane self steering. I have decided to follow Jimmy Cornell's advice from his book "World Cruising Routes" and head a little south of Sable Island, then head east for a while before joining the great circle route direct to Ireland, thereby avoiding the fog and icebergs further north. It's slightly longer this way but I've seen enough ice and fog for the time being. A great circle route by the way, for the navigationally challenged, is the shortest distance between two points on the earth's surface, but it appears as a curved line on a Mercator's projection, the sort of map most of us are used to looking at, because of the distortions caused in trying to represent a curved surface on a flat piece of paper.

Only 2,320 miles to go.

Bob Cat:

A good nights sleep and now a busy day ahead, straight into it . Zzzzzz.

All is well.