Monday, July 25, 2011
When Long Island Sound is jokingly referred to as the Dead Sea, it is not because of its high salt content or lack of marine life. The Dead Sea remark pokes fun at the lack of wind here during the peak of summer. Hot, windless days with nearly a ripple on the water's surface.
Like all good jokes, there is an element of truth to this, but it sometimes become overstated. The winds most certainly die in late July and August, but on most days, the prevailing southwesterlies pick up by mid-afternoon.
There are exceptions of course, and they can be lasting. The heatwave this past week brought a 24-hour hazy stillness to the Sound for several days. No afternoon breeze, no puff of wind in the jib, no sunset sails.
The Mystic Whaler , a 1967 reproduction of a 19th-century schooner, was rebuilt in Providence, Rhode Island in 1993. Based in New London during the summer months, she offers everything from sunset sails to 3-day cruises.
Keeping a busy schedule, Carina and I have crossed paths with her in Greenport, Stonington, and several other ports. She is a beautiful sight to see under-sail.
On this hazy evening however, she wasn't going anywhere fast. Just south of Morgan Point, I spotted her practicing that old 21st-century tradition of trimming the iron genoa.
Mystic Whaler Cruises
Cruising Guide To The New England Coast: General Conditions
Iron Genoa - a sailboat's engine