History/Travel

Across the Pond

Across the Pond

Sailing from Boston to the English Channel took roughly a month in the 18th century.  Sailing in the other direction took longer because of the Gulf Stream and prevailing winds.  Today the Queen Elizabeth II sails in both directions in seven days.  You can fly to London from Boston in under seven hours, or around nine hours going the other way.

Benjamin Franklin made the journey between America and Europe many times in his life, and was a keen observer of the sea and the creatures in it.  Franklin was an avid swimmer and no doubt had his opinions on salt water swimming versus fresh water.  If I were a time traveler I’d certainly accompany Franklin on one of those trips across the pond to get his perspective on things.

With friends sailing across the pond next year, and Emily contemplating studying abroad in the fall semester, I’m thinking more about crossing the pond.  I started this year looking west from the coast of Portugal.  I looked east from the coast of Massachusetts just yesterday.  The Atlantic is telling me something.

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