Captain’s Log – Movements of the Moon

June 16, 2016

Date: Thursday June 16, 2016
Time: 0700 EDT
Position: 41d 42.7 North X 68d 32.6 West or about 63 nautical miles east of Chatham, Massachusetts.

Been motoring most of the time since the last log. Except for a short but happy sail yesterday evening with everything set, including studding sail. We sailed for about three hours in the waters southeast of Nantucket. We were speeding along through the water at around 8 knots making around 9 knots over the bottom, due to a favorable current. But come darkness, the wind fell soft, so the squares were taken in, the motors started, and off again as we motored our way towards Nova Scotia.

Currently we are again in the midst of fishing vessels. The fishing vessels Morning Star, Mary K, Buzzards Bay, Cowboy, Neskone, Zibet, FishermanTropico and Sea Watcher I are all working the north and northwest slopes of Georges Bank just north and west of Cultivator Shoal and Georges Shoal. The northwest slopes of Georges Bank transition from a shallow of around 100 feet, to a deep of around 600 feet, quite steeply. Meaning that in one area the
transition occurs over a distance of 2.5 nautical miles. Over and around Georges Bank, strong currents occur as the Gulf of Maine and the waters of the Nantucket Sound flow in and out due to a rise and fall of Atlantic Ocean waters. This is caused by the gravitational influence of the moon.

Twice a day, the Atlantic rises and “over flows” onto the shallow areas around its perimeter only to retreat again as the Atlantic sinks back down. The moon passes over The Atlantic during one half of the day and passes directly opposite the Atlantic, on the other side of the globe, the other half of the day. The gravitational influences of the moon create a bulge of ocean water opposite to the moon similarly, but less dramatically, to the bulge of ocean water nearest the moon. So currents are running over Georges Bank all of the time. As ocean water rushes in and out over the irregular bottom near the coast, the turbulence created by the steep slopes and shallows of Georges Bank attract underwater life seeking their own feeding opportunities in the turbulence. Hence, the fishing vessels are in the same areas as well.

Signed, Jan C. Miles

  1. Comments 1

  2. Pierre Henkart 10:44 am on June 16, 2016

    While history may be the least of Captain Miles' concerns as he pushes Pride towards Toronto, it's worth noting that 202 years ago Captain Thomas Boyle was sailing his famous Baltimore Clipper Chasseur on the same Banks where Pride is now. The Chasseur was on a privateering cruise aimed at capturing British merchant ships (as commissioned by the US government during the War of 1812), departing New York in July 1814. Captain Boyle knew that Chasseur's speed and maneuverability would enable him to outsail Royal Navy convoy escorts and he was headed for British waters where there would be lots of "prizes" to capture. But crossing the Grand Banks on August 16, Captain Boyle captured his first prize, the brig Eclipse, and put a crew on board to sail her back to New York where she was sold by a US Marshall. While we can go on listing differences between Chasseur and Pride (electronic navigation/communication, diesel engines and a crew of 16 instead of 120), the basic sailing component of Pride's current voyage is very much re-enacting the then-famous exploits of Thomas Boyle and the Chasseur. Pierre Henkart Pride of Baltimore "historian"

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