Saturday, May 30, 2020

Evanston: Pytheas; green flash; the first three parts

Pytheas.  Now there is a name you shouldn’t say in public these days without a face mask.

I knew of the circumnavigation of Africa around 600 BC reported by Herodotus and have mentioned it somewhere in my writings.  Although that voyage may not have happened, I hope it did.  I have touched on Africa several times, north and south, east and west, and to have circumnavigated the continent 2600 years ago fires my imagination.  It would have been wonderful.  I would have loved to have done it.  I like to believe I could have.

However, I did not know of Pytheas’s equally wonderful voyage until I recently began reading Farley Mowat’s THE FARFARERS.

Around 330 BC, Pytheas, a Greek merchant in Massalia, present day Marseilles, France, set off west through the Gibraltar Straits, then the Pillars of Hercules, and headed north.  He may have touched Brittany.  He did continue to the modern United Kingdom, probably making landfall in Cornwall.  He is the first Mediterranean sailor known to have reached the British Isles.  He continued up the west coast to Scotland and beyond to Thule, which may have been Iceland.  He reached the frozen Arctic Ocean, before turning back south, sailing down the east coast of modern Scotland and England, then east into the Baltic and possibly continuing as far as the Vistula River in modern Poland, before retuning to Massalia.  What a world to have sailed.  What a voyage to have made.

If you want to read more:

I have sailed into or looked back at thousands of sunsets and I have never seen the green flash.  The image above from The Astronomy Picture of the Day shows green flashes not just from the sun, but from the moon, Venus and Mercury.  I really must be blind.

I have written that I have formulated a plan for the next several years.  In the unlikely event I complete it, I will have the tedious task of making another, but that is years away and the problem may have solved itself.

Here are the first three parts.

1.  2020  move GANNET from San Diego to Hilton Head

2. 2020-2022?  explore Hilton Head waters and anchor with alligators, possibly sail to Bermuda and the Bahamas

3.  2023?  cross the North Atlantic to the UK and Ireland, specifically Islay, the home of my favorite liquid, possibly with stops in Canada and Iceland

The question marks because the timing is uncertain.

The fourth part is more audacious and I will keep it to myself for some years to come, assuming some years do come.

I have looked at the chart catalogues of both iNavX and iSailor.  Both have had significant price changes in the past year or so.  For GANNET’s circumnavigation, charts from iNavX were considerably less expensive than those from iSailor.  For a prospective voyage to Iceland and the UK, they are now less expensive from iSailor.

May seems to have been a long month and for me I don’t think the now forgotten pandemic has been the reason.  Maybe because it has rained so much in Chicago.  Today is a lovely day and the forecast is for fine weather for the coming week.  I suppose it has to happen sometime.

I did my standard workout the maximum thirteen times this month and went to 100 push-ups and crunches in the first set, and 50 each in the second and third, seven of those workouts.  Carol has suggested that in view of my torn shoulder and considerable age I am pushing myself too hard.  I appreciate that she cares about me, but I am going to use my body as hard as I can as long as I can.

If you were to venture to the Lines page of the main site, you would find that no matter what additions I make, the last line is:  go out, going forward.

‘Forward’ is subjectively defined and there are no guarantees, but I hope I do.

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