After rounding southeast Newfoundland we could finally head north. It’s pretty incredible how far east you have to go before you can turn north heading from the U.S. east coast. Canada is wider than it looks on a map. It was great to finally be heading north towards Greenland but now we had our first real obstacle, southern icebergs.
Icebergs come out of Hudson Bay and the Labrador Sea and travel south to southeast. It was one of these southern icebergs that sank the Titanic, so you know they can be pretty serious. Basically you look at an ice map which is a map broken into squares with numbers estimating the number of bergs in that region. You try to steer a course connecting the boxes that have the least amount of icebergs (check picture). At least that is the theory. The wind direction ultimately determines which box on the map you have sailed into and you just do your best to keep a sharp lookout. A sharp lookout in the fog that is. It’s a good thing we installed a radar before we left.
Sailing in the fog day after day is strange experience. It can even be a bit claustrophobic. It can be blowing a gale and still be incredibly foggy, and rainy. Hard to imagine a more dreary place to sail than the southern Labrador Sea. The grey foggy sky gives the water a greyish color so you’re completely surrounded by grey, for days on end. The fog can come or go so quickly that it seems like someone flipped a switch and the pea soup fog machine turns on or off. Fog itself is nearly always misting water so the deck, lines, everything outside is always wet. Mixing icebergs into this equation makes for sleepless nights. My stomach is not happy with all the coffee I’ve been drinking lately.
We are now north of the Southern ice belt, it will be a little while before we get far enough north to see the big boys. Huge icebergs that can be a mile around, hundreds of feet tall and who knows how deep. These southern bergs are hardly an appetizer compared to the feast waiting in the Arctic. Each iceberg is a unique and always changing natural sculpture. Icebergs are one of the most beautiful natural phenomena’s I’ve ever seen. (more after the break)
William Carlos Williams was a physician, a caring man, who examined patients the old fashioned way: listening, touching. His plain and powerful poetry demonstrates those virtues and talents. The three poems below, old favorites of mine, show his empathy. William Logan, a Florida English professor who cared, has tracked down the owner of the red wheelbarrow of which Dr. Williams wrote.
On July 18, in a moment of belated poetic justice, a stone will be laid on the otherwise unmarked grave of Thaddeus Marshall, an African-American street vendor from Rutherford, N.J., noting his unsung contribution to American literature.
CHICAGO — The last song the Grateful Dead performed here on Sunday night at Soldier Field — the band’s farewell, 50 years after it was founded — was “Attics of My Life.” It’s a close-harmony song of thankfulness to a soul, a muse, perhaps an audience. It professes, “I have spent my life/ Seeking all that’s still unsung” and concludes, “When there was no dream of mine/ You dreamed of me.”
Rod and Olin Stephens’ fastest recorded speed on Dorade in the 1931 Transatlantic Race was 11.4 knots, set when their father, Rod Stephens, Sr., was driving. In the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race, Ben Galloway set what we think was the all-time speed record aboard Dorade of 15.9 knots (unless one of our followers knows better — please let us know when and where that was topped!).
In the 2015 Transatlantic Race, navigator Shaun Pammenter reports that the crew is already smashing every speed and distance record for Dorade.
So far the top drivers are:
Ben “Hollywood” Galloway: Boat Speed: 17.1 knots* (Honorable Mention)
Sail Plan: A4, all the trimmings, no reefs for me thanks
Wind Speed: 22-26 knots
Terry “Lets Just Keep This Boat In One Piece” Halpin:Boat Speed: 18.7* knots Sail Plan: J4, one reef and full mizzen Wind Speed: 24-32 knots
Dorade - the 1929 Sparkman & Stephens designed 52 foot yawl - built at Minnieford on City Island -is back in the race. That is the NYYC Transatlantic Race from Newport to Cowes that she won three times back in the day. They are trying to match the Stephens brothers' record - 17 days. It will be tough though because they can't do the great circle route: race planners have defined an iceberg exclusion zone reaching down to 42 N, forcing them due east until turning NNE at 52 W - east of Newfoundland. But Dorade did peak at 17.8 kts two days ago in a wet Gulf Stream run.
At the moment - day five - they are 4th overall in a fleet of forty boats! The lead boat? Mariette of 1915 - a Herreshoff-built 42 meter LOA schooner.
Like Dorade on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @dorade1929, click on Transatlantic Race or download the YB Tracking app (free for the Transat).