I grew up in the small town of Orleans, Massachusetts. Orleans is thrust out into the Atlantic Ocean where the forearm of Cape Cod turns to the north and is the first town on the Cape to have water on two of its borders. Small as it is, Orleans has some historic distinctions. The townspeople succesfully repelled an attempted British landing during the War of 1812. It was the western terminus of the first trans-Atlantic Telegraph cable and is the only place in the continental United States to have been hit by enemy shells during WWII.
Since it is one of the eastern-most points in the country it has also been the jumping off point for many maritime adventures. John Ridgeway and Chay Blyth departed from Orleans June 4th, 1966 and made it to Ireland in 92 days. Others, sadly, left Orleans’s shores and were never heard from again.
On May 19th, 2009, Charlie Girard, a Frenchman, launched his second attempt to row across The Pond and break the record of 62 days set two years ago by another Frenchman, Emmanuel Coindre in 2004. (For those of you who don’t know, the French believe that they invented wind, water and waves.) Girard tried the stunt in 2007 only to be rescued by the Coast Guard less than two days after his departure.
We can only wish him well.