Monday, May 24, 2010

A note on speed...

My "later" edition (circa 1980) of Hiscock's Voyaging Under Sail has a photograph of a boat becalmed with the caption, "waiting for wind in the doldrums." The key word is "waiting." Today's cruiser doesn't wait for anything... If speed under way drops below 3 knots, they fire up the engine without any deliberation. When discussing passage times for familiar crossings, it can feel like a contest for the fastest. If you had a slow crossing, you feel compelled to offer that elaborate technical explanation of how the weather worked against you. A faster time would indicate that one is a competent sailor and knows how to get the most out of one's boat but this is often not the case. I don't know when being becalmed or moving at 2 kots became so dreadful... Diesel engines have become way more efficient but fuel has gotten a lot more expensive... And what does it matter if you are out on the ocean for an extra few days? Isn't that why you left to go cruising to begin with?



Anonymous said...

Slow sailing makes also for special moments. Enjoying the view, reading a book and so many more ideas.

Good luck.

Fabián (from the Argentine marriage).

Mark said...

Hope Cartagena suits you and you get an enjoyable month. All the best, Mark, Vic and Margy (Koh Jum)