The voyaging routes of the sea are delimited by geography, ocean currents, the iceberg fields, the trade winds, the seasons, and the curvature of the planet.
Most maps present an idealised view of the landmasses, resulting in shortest-distance trips appearing curved in the map, the more away from the Equator the more so. Last year, our friends from Newcastle, with no radar, waited in Halifax for almost two months in the Summer, but in the end returned to the Caribbean for one more season because the ice fields extended across their way back home to England. The trade winds, or vientos alisios, are created by the rotation of Earth, and make certain trips difficult unless one goes hundreds or thousands of miles around. And this year, unlike last year, we avoided the Gulf Stream –which otherwise gives a boat a free and speedy ride— because of conflicting stormy weather.
We now see a handful of large cargo boats pass nearby, bound for Gibraltar, Cagliari, Rotterdam, and for Galveston, Baltimore, or Searsport. “Seeing” them means on AIS, up to 40 miles away, although today we called one on the radio that was going to pass less than a mile from us; the 571-foot Chembulk New Orleans slightly altered course and passed one nautical mile away, unseen in fog.
Tonight Peregrinus travels 600 NM south of Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, 1000 NM east of Hampton, Virginia,1900 NM north of Paramaribo, Suriname, 2300 NM west of Palos de La Frontera.