Sunday, May 21, 2006

Crossing the Atlantic

When sailing across an ocean there are two things you can't do. You can't get off and you can't stop.

So the grim mood on the boats of the Volvo Ocean Race after the tragic news from ABN2 must be matched by the grit to keep going. Since then ABN1 has battled through storm force winds and waves to reach the finish line before the runner up is even at the Land's End.

And yes, Ericsson has held off Pirates to get those 3.5 points as she claims second to the scoring gate. But its a long way from there to the Solent and both boats have either British born navigators or skippers who will be drawing on their experience and knowledge of the tides as they head up the channel.

And there has been no let up on the drama with Movistar suffering another critical keel breakdown, forcing them to drop sails, put on emergency suits and get the pumps going.

All this drama, but alas having to miss it all as Captain JP has crossed an ocean in more comfort than the Volvo fleets and is currently in the land of the free (or semi-free for those that have been following the debate on Playgoer about the Rachel Corrie play).

Apart from the on-board entertainment's 50 movies on demand, what was remarkable about the flight over were the icebergs. Looking out of the window between Greenland and Newfoundland the channel was swarming with 'bergs - I counted over a hundred - many more than seen before.

Maybe it's appropriate to ponder on global warming at 36,000 feet on an Airbus poring out CO2. But we are changing our planet, and while we have been shocked by the death of one crewman on ABN2, estimates of the deaths from global warming are in the millions.

Picture from NASA

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