In the Long Island Sound doldrums

A belt of low pressure at the Earth’s surface near the equator known as the doldrums… With minimal pressure gradient, wind speeds are light and directions are variable. Hot, sultry days are common.  — from The American Practical Navigator

July 22nd

New rudder in hand, I headed down to the dock to fit it to the boat.   Since the lower pintle is now in the right place, I had to move the lower gudgeon to a spot correspondingly lower on the transom.  With another day above 90 degrees under blazing sun, it’s hot work.  By early afternoon the boat is back in commission.

However, the wind is not, and after optimistically rigging up and heading out, and catching a few zephyrs, I find myself completely becalmed.  I try rowing out a little farther to find some wind, but I just find more nothing.

P1020067
The healing is purely due to my weight, there’s no wind!

The humidity is ferocious and the sun is equatorial.  The doldrums have moved to Manhattan.  A cold beer keeps me occupied for a few minutes but then I’m back to bored and becalmed.  Eventually I just give up, take in sails and row home.

Grey Fox rows pretty well, but it’s no crew shell and the heat and humidity make the rowing not much fun.  Actually not fun at all, and I like rowing.  Today I’m just melting.  Shoulda gone to the (air conditioned) movies.

Author: Larchmont Jim

A 50-something investment banker from Larchmont, New York (about 15 miles from midtown Manhattan). Amateur small boat sailer, boatbuilder, kayaker, musician. I grew up spending summers sailing the New England coast on my grandfather’s beautiful 47’ 1952 Sparkman & Stevens wooden yawl. I’ve lived in Larchmont, a major and historic sailing center on Long Island Sound, for 25 years, but career and family obligations kept me off the water for all of my 30s and 40s, and only about 7 years ago did I get back on the water, first in sea kayaks, and then in small boats.

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