thinking outside the tank

Joshua Slocum in Google Earth: Cape Verde Islands to the Equator

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You can follow Joshua Slocum’s single-handed voyage round the world at:

Today I added to the presentation the section of Chapter V that sees the Spray reach the Equator 20 days after leaving the Cape Verde Islands astern and 30 days out from Gibraltar.

Sailing through the doldrums

While pondering his solitude Slocum gets a surprise when he hears voices alongside; the voices belong to sailors on a white bark under full sail which just misses the Spray. He spends the rest of the night on deck “thinking of ships and watching the constellations on their voyage.”

Over the next few days he sees more ships but they are too distant to contact.

The Spray enters the doldrums, the region of variable and light winds situated between the north-east and south-east trade winds. The sea is choppy and the towering rain clouds to the south finally dump on him their torrents of rain.

After meeting the schooner Nantasket of Boston, the tiny ecosystem on the Spray‘s hull  is disturbed when many of the fish that have been following the craft ‘jump ship’ and transfer to the Nantasket because her hull, fouled by shell-fish, is a richer feeding ground.

One notable and regretted loss is an injured dolphin that kept along with the Spray for over a thousand miles. Unable to forage well for itself, it was happy to receive Slocum’ scraps thrown overboard.

At about 6 degrees north Slocum encounters thunderstorms and is reminded of the Alert, an American ship destroyed by lightning in just this area.

On 25Sep1895 the Spray is at latitude 5 degrees north and at 1130 on 30Sep1895 she crosses the line in the longitude of 29degrees 30minutes west.

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

Note: to view the presentation you will need to install the Google Earth plugin in your web browser; and if you enjoy the Slocum presentation, why not look at Cook’s First Voyage Round the World?

Written by netkingcol

August 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm

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