Wait and run

the sun dipping behind boldt castle

the sun dipping behind boldt castle

If I seem to be dragging my feet, I am.  There is still ice off the north coast of Labrador from the ice reports by Canadian Weather.  I’m watching the ice charts almost daily now at the Canadian Ice Service

 Even though past the summer solstice, the days up north will continue to be long and the traffic will be light.  Like a chess game, it’s still early and my moves are all preparatory.  To go out too soon would only make me vulnerable to unforeseen forces.   My strategy is one of wait and run.  It’s just easier to wait in civilization but that opportunity will pass soon enough.   Once at sea I can catnap as I sail, then hove to when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer.  I have a sea drogue to slow the drift and I’ll set my radar alarms, my AIS (automated identification system)alarm  and my drag alarm.  I don’t expect to sleep more than one or two hours in a row, though, but that won’t be a problem.   I rarely sleep straight through the night.  A bump in the night, a shift of the wind, a slap of a halyard and I’m wide awake.   

Josh and Tiny have caught up with me with wonderful tales of their own adventures in THUMPER THE MOTORHOME.  Adventures like Josh driving the motor home through down town Manhattan.  Some things are better I don’t know about in advance.  We three went to see the delightful little movie called UP.  Imagine that, a story about an old man off on an adventure. 

I’ll get underway today to start making my way to Montreal.  I’ve been waiting on some needed soft ware for my AIS unit.  I’ll miss the land of a Thousand Islands and all the beautiful nooks it offers for exploration.  Sometime this afternoon, I’ll cross over the 45th parallel, that point where I’m half way between the equator and the North Pole.  The next milestone will be my eastern most approach somewhere off Labrador.

15 Responses to “Wait and run”

  1. Matthew Parker says:

    Hey Tommy,

    Glad to be reading your updates. We are still hanging in there and following your every move. The kids got the post card. What a great suprise. Thanks so much. We continue to pray for a safe andventure. We send our love.


  2. Pat says:

    Captain Tommy,
    Thanks for sharing some of your strategy. It is enjoyable to read a bit about how you are planning for the challenges ahead. Enjoy Montreal. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a few times and love the city. It is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world. Old Montreal is very cool.

  3. MikeinAppalachia says:

    I’d recommend Quebec City over Montreal if you can only make one of the two. From some of the blogs, the arctic temps were later than usual this year rising above freezing, so yeah, maybe no hurry getting north. Enjoy your river trip!

  4. Blake August says:

    Of the seven yachts that are aiming to transit the Northwest Passage this summer, you are the farthest south at the moment.

    When you have access to the Net, here’s where you can keep track of, as it were, the competition:


    Enjoy your run down the St. Lawrence!


  5. Jason says:

    I didn’t think the Labrador Sea would be so bergy this time of year.
    Be safe, enjoy your last few days with people around 🙂

    Fair Winds and Following Seas!

  6. capt bruce says:


    ‘Haste” we all know this one, “makes waste”.that isn’t just a simple phrase repeated or echoed from generation to generation, it seems to be the truth. take the time and enjoy the roll of the sea.be smart and kind to the “everything” that you have in the “CAPT LEM”.

    how are your hands my friend? wet lines cause those patches of skin to slake away and never harden into callous resulting in the need of tougher gloves and antibiotic salves squished from tubes filled in places miles away from you.
    here is anthother one from the old tale of the rabbit and the tortoise”slow and steady wins the race”.
    you, are not in a race tommy. you are in pursuit of beauty and purpose that few have ever seen or felt.
    odesseus,maggellan, heyerdahl, amandsen,nansen,.we could drop names for hours and we would only be dropping names.you are doing what only a fraction of humans have done or seen.or ever wanted to see.

    fill in the blanks on your next leg and be certain to push the “LEM” to the length of your own adventurous will.
    we,your fans, will be on your side.

    capt bruce

  7. Tom Wolfe says:

    Howdy neighbor,

    That’s the greeting I remember when you’d come down from Spyglass Hill to say hello to me, your downhill “next door” neighbor. I’d wondered what you’d been up to since your property sold, but you far exceeded any guess I could have imagined. Now I’m as hooked on your adventure as so many of your friends and relatives — and the circle keeps widening. Thanks for the opportunity to follow along.

    Tom Wolfe

  8. Susan says:

    Hey, Tommy…
    Good to hear you’re doing well.
    I try and keep track of you now and again.
    It was good to see Tiny and Josh at the reunion in Pennsylvania.
    You take care…

  9. Kopi says:

    Wannabe sailor from N65deg01.277,E25deg32.520 sends thanks for interesting and entertaining blog and wishes you good lu.. skills for the rest of the journey!

  10. Barrel Bob says:

    We are following you from the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. Thank you so much for letting us come alongside. The 45th parallel is just a few miles north of here. We’re addicted to your adventure…and your writing is the best. As I look north up the Connecticut River toward Lake Francis, I can imagine flying over the Connecticut Lakes and on to Quebec City where you and CAP’N LEM will pass under the cliffs of the Plains of Abraham to the broadening of the St. Lawrence. Best Wishes.

    Barrel Bob

  11. unstranger says:

    The photograph is excellent.

  12. Jim in Baja says:

    Captain Tommy,
    I end my day by checking on yours. I’ve yet to be disappointed.

  13. Josh Taylor says:

    Hello Tommy,
    How cool it was to meet you in Alexandria Bay! We got to talk for quite a while on the dock while I was with my friend Mike. I only wish we had more time to hear more of your stories. Glad to see that you’re back online and headed out, although I’m sure you would have stayed in the Thousand Islands too. Godspeed!

    Josh Taylor

  14. bob hollingsworth says:

    Greetings Tommy, The Bellingham gang continues to track your progress with keen interest. Pace yourself and once the pack opens up then you can shoot over the top like a bird of prey. I was down in the forest near Gray’s Harbor where a tree 120 years old has been found and harvested and will eventually become one of the masts on the Zodiac. That baby is 170′ long and 39″ at the butt. Pretty impressive!
    Now I’m off for a two week gig in Cook Inlet, AKA on Chisik Island.
    Regards, Bob Hollingsworth

  15. Dave says:

    I learned of your passage through the Thousand Islands from an old friend in Clayton shortly after visiting him there, and only wish I had been able to meet you then. I know the Corsair by reputation, and the voyage is something I’ve dreamed about ever since learning that the passage is now ice-free in summer. I assume you are planning to go via the Davis Strait and Viscount Melville Sound with potential stops at Iqualuit, Pond Inlet and Resolute. In any case, congratulations on your success to date and Godspeed to you on the journey ahead. Your adventure is a reminder that whatever global warming has in store for us, the human spirit will adapt and prevail.