Thursday, June 16, 2011
PRIDE II…finally able to depart Lunenburg bound for Rochester, New York.
For three days PRIDE II has been weathering out contrary weather on the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia. But it looks now like the weather is changing and PRIDE II will be able to depart early Thursday for her destination of Rochester, New York.
So…what has been this contrary weather? And what is Lunenburg like for a weather bound vessel?
The weather has been a pretty consistent easterly wind of between 20 and 35 knots caused by a low pressure area south of Nova Scotia. Low pressure zones in the northern hemisphere rotate counter clockwise. As a result, being as there is a low to the south of Nova Scotia, there are winds rotating from east to west north of the center of the low, blowing along the Nova Scotia shore, setting up sea swells of 2-3 meters…6 to 10 feet…coming from the east as well. For PRIDE II to proceed towards the Great Lakes, she must head east from Lunenburg. The easterly conditions are impossible to motor into without using a prodigious amount of fuel and risking damage to PRIDE II by pounding into the waves. Not motoring directly into the weather means zig-zagging first to the south, then to the north, while trying to gain distance to the east against the wind and the swell. Trying this also presents a lot of wear and tear on the ship and crew. In the end…it is my experience that it is better to wait…even at the risk of appearing at our next obligation behind schedule. Meanwhile, it is looking like the waiting might provide a bit of a favorable push along our way after we turn north at Cape Canso to cross the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This “push” might come in the form of another low system sliding east-southeastward from the bringing south to southeast winds ahead of it starting late on Friday. It might be that this new low pattern could track in such a way as to help PRIDE make a speedy run through the Gulf and around the Gaspe Peninsula. If such were to happen…maybe we can capture back much of our delay and not be altogether late into Rochester. The proof of this will be in the doing. But we can surely hope!
For any not-for-profit managed vessel like PRIDE II Lunenburg is a terrific port stop. There is a kind of language of special understanding about such vessels as PRIDE II in Lunenburg by many of those that live and work here. The commercial fishing vessel services understand the needs that a vessel like PRIDE II has and how they can help during our stay in Lunenburg. For instance Adams and Knickle generously provided complimentary docking with electricity and fresh water. The office of PICTON CASTLEprovided access to internet and local knowledge and transportation to run errands…as well the fax machine to complete Canadian Customs paper processing. Of course there are recreational establishments that know how to satiate the mariners thirst and hunger. There is also interesting marine history to be seen here…the rebuilding of the Canadian Fishing Schooner BLUENOSE II and The Fisheries Museum…if the captain provides time off to the crew so they might see such. Lunenburg is also home to the building of local small schooners…two by the company that operates the PICTON CASTLE…as well the sailing of them…kept on moorings out in the harbor during the summer, ready for immediate sailing and easily visible to PRIDE II’s crew as they work at tending to PRIDE II while waiting for a break in the weather.
But as nice as it is to visit and linger in Lunenburg…there is a job to do elsewhere…and time is slipping by. With the break in the weather…it is time to go. So off we go in pursuit of the job PRIDE II is tasked with doing.
Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II