Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the way to St. John's

I left St. Pierre this morning after a delightful two days. This French island is very small making it possible to explore in a short time. I met a professor from Marymount Manhattan College quite by chance. She overheard me saying that I had lived in New York City. It turns out that she lives in Styvasant Town, the same place I lived between the Navy and going to graduate school. It was owned for many years by Metropolitan Life where my father spent his career. Recently it was purchased by Tishman. With the housing crisis it is worth 1/2 of what they paid for it so they simply walked away.
St. Pierre is a storybook place. Most of the homes are brightly painted. It exists as a tourist location. But even that is low key. There are very limited services, a couple of bars, several restaurants, two grocery stores. It was a fun stop.
I am now on my way to St. John's, a trip of about 180 nm. It will take me a couple of days. As I was doing my chart plotting I realized that from St. John's I am only about 1300 nm fro the Azores, about the same distance that a direct voyage would take back to Hampton Roads. It is also about 1,000 nm closer than any departure from the East Coast of the US to Europe. It is making me wonder.
The winds have been light all day making sailing difficult. I have had to motor a couple of times. At least we got some sun. The downside of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland is constant fog and damp. It seems as if the entire boat is drenched in sweat.
Almost ready to turn North and head for St. John's.

American Exceptionalism

Peter Schramm, liked to tell the story of his family's escape from Hungary in the aftermath of its failed revolution against Russian Com...