After 1,000 miles on ICEBEAR across the Atlantic

After 1,000 Miles

1,077 miles sailed since departing Rockland, Maine on a Tuesday morning. Today marks the start of the 8th day at sea aboard ICEBEAR, another Tuesday morning, but in a very different place. The passage has been both uneventful and eventful, tiring and restful, fantastic sailing and frustrating calms. I’ve asked Mia to post this on the QDECK as kind of an analysis of the first 1,000 miles of our route, why we chose to sail the way we did, what we’ve done right and wrong so far, and what’s over the horizon in the next 1,500 or so miles towards Crookhaven.


We departed Rockland on a Tuesday morning, stopping first for fuel on the way out of the harbor, and again for a last ocean swim outside the breakwater before setting sails and pointing the bow southeast towards Cape Sable on Nova Scotia’s western edge. We had a perfect departure forecast in the sense it would be an easy transition into life at sea…but not much wind.

The second or third day out we sorta got caught unawares by a stronger than expected frontal passage. There wasn’t much wind to speak of, nothing more than 20 knots as it shifted from SW to NW, but loads of rain, thunder and lightning. Lightning is the scariest part of offshore sailing for me — if you’re in an electrical storm at sea, there’s not much strategy you can deploy. Take down the sails and hide. I prefer to buy into the theory that a boat at sea is safer from lightning than a boat at anchor or the dock — the theory goes that a mast pitching around on the waves ‘shakes off’ any accumulating negative ions, which a lightning bolt needs to make a connection from the atmosphere. I’ll take it!

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