Nightime Encounters

09:00 local, 20 July 2019
Lat: 40° 25.5’ N
Lon: 71° 24. W
Weather: Hazy, wind 11kt, W
Water temperature: 76°F/Air temperature: 74°F
Course: 081M
Speed: 4.5kts
Distance from Delaware Bay Entrance: 195NM
Distance from Halifax Harbor Entrance: 426NM

We are about 40 miles off Montauk, on the eastern tip of Long Island, and are in the middle of crossing the busy shipping lanes that lead into the Port of New York. The ships are spaced about an hour apart, but it takes us about an hour to cross, so timing is important! As we pick our place between large cargo ships to dart across, I have an understand of how the squirrel feels trying to cross the freeway.

Our next challenge is rounding the shoals that surround Nantucket to the south and east. Long the bane of vessels approaching New York from the Atlantic, these shoals are littered with ship wrecks, and are also home to some of the best summer flounder fishing anywhere. Unfortunately, we’ll be passing at night and can’t take the time to stop—this trip. Once clear of Cap Cod, we have a straight shot across Georges Bank to Nova Scotia.

We sailed on a comfortable broad reach all night, with the wind sifting exactly as predicted, and exactly as we wanted. During the night we were treated to several groups of dolphin playfully bow-riding, and a group of whales close by. The full moon was bright enough we could see the spray of the whale blows 150 feet away.

Pretty much always at night, and frequently during the day, you first notice whales when you hear them breath when they surface. It sounds pretty much like you would imagine it sounds like when a 30 ton animal blows his nose.

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