Matt’s Back! Guest Post: To Greenock We Go
Posted by Tall Ships America on July 8, 2011
0415 – July 4th, 2011 52°00.2’N x 6°46.7’W
The silhouette of the Gloria glides across our bow this morning, less than a mile ahead of us. Backlit against the first tatters of red morning light, Gloria is entirely black and featureless, as if cut from black paper and pasted onto the scene in front of us. Braced sharp and with nearly all sail set, she looks like she is going as fast as a tall ship in an antique store painting.
Only, she isn’t. Though glorious in sight, Gloria may feel less than glamorous as she bobs about, crawling to cover ground in the wind-starved Irish Sea. Some liken the ocean to a “wet desert”; a shifting, featureless land where droughts come not from lack of moisture, but from an absence of wind. Equally starved, we on Europa sympathize with the Gloria- her tall masts and towering squares of canvas set in defiance of the absent wind and proudly pretending to be powerfully sailing.
This morning, Gloria, our own Europa and 44 other tall ships strain for wind, seemingly bobbing like a motley collection of rubber ducky’s in a boundless bathtub. This is the beginning of day two of our first tall ship race of the season, certainly not a running start. The distance to cover, from Waterford, Ireland to Greenock, Scotland is a mere 215 miles away. That distance seems to loom larger for every hour spent sputtering at 0.8 knots.