>> Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A fantastic Easter holiday to all of our family and friends! We're excited to get under way tomorrow and continue our voyage north. All are well!
While enjoying a walk along the sandy beach, I saw two trucks parked near the crashing waves. As I got closer to investigate I could see the body of a bottlenose dolphin. Two women, marine biologists, were taking different tests such as temperature, and were photographing the beached mammal. After looking more closely at the dolphin, I could see lesions scattered on its body. The women told us that the lesions and the fact that the dolphin died on the beach were definite signs of Morbillivirus, though she couldn't tell us conclusively at the time without more extensive testing. This virus has killed over 1,100 dolphins up and down the east coast over the last year. This is the second epidemic, one in the '80's killing only 800 bottlenose dolphins.
Another day waiting out weather ashore doesn't mean we can't learn about the seaport of Charleston and the ships that call here. This morning we visited the commercial port of Charleston, and saw how the containers that carry the goods we consume are shipped around the globe. We saw how different kinds of cargo, like cars or grain, require different kinds of ships and seaport facilities, and how technology has impacted maritime labor and seaport culture.
As you can see on the iBoat track, we're still in Charleston. The cold front that brought many of you April snow showers is creating strong northeasterly winds off of Cape Hatteras, known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," so the Captain has exercised due caution. While the old saying predicts that ships and sailors rot in port, there's definitely worse places to get stuck! We're exploring the sublime spring gardens at the Magnolia Plantation today...
Our short passage from Cumberland Island, Georgia saw us at first motoring in light breezes, then flying toward the Palmetto State at up to 10 knots in rain and fair wind.
There is something about these long passages that brings out the artist in the sailor. Between Santo Domingo and Fernandina Beach students and crew have created an abundance of poetry, journal writing, and art. It has become commonplace to crowd around the cabin top in the evening and paint the sky, noting changes in color, cloud formation, and ocean hue.