Editorial September 2010 Issue

Whirring Wizards of the Bilge

The rhumb line route from Rabaul, New Britain, to Guam is about 1,300 miles. Most of the year, the passage leads you through the doldrums, then puts you hard on a starboard tack, clawing against the prevailing northeasterlies, then creeping northwest through typhoon alley. If you’re in a heavily laden, gaff-rigged boat that tacks through 116 degrees and close reaches at the breakneck speed of 4.6 knots, it seems more like 10,000 miles.

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