Humans At Their Best, In The Water, In The Extreme

Team Blackfish set sail Thursday morning in what organizers called the first human-powered boat race to Alaska. Credit Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

Team Blackfish set sail Thursday morning in what organizers called the first human-powered boat race to Alaska. Credit Evan McGlinn for The New York Times

Too much dullness and dimwittedness recently. We need a break from that. We like the optimism of Team Blackfish and their fellow sailors:

A Race to Alaska: No Motors, but No Limits on Imagination

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — Scott Veirs and Thomas Nielsen have a little wooden plank mounted on their boat, just in front of the seat where they plan to take turns, for days on end, pedaling a bike-chain-driven propeller shaft all the way to Alaska.

“If in doubt,” the sign reads, “try some optimism.”

That could be the motto for the entire field of competitors in what is billed as the first race of its kind — human powered to Alaska — which set off Thursday morning from this city on the shores of Puget Sound, heading north across open water. The 54 entrants in the Race to Alaska— solo efforts and teams, novices and old-salt veterans — were fueled by a mix of determination, ingenuity and upward of 6,000 calories a day, but no motors. Continue reading