July 27 - 1981: Oil drilling begins off Cape Cod

1925: Yachts race around the Cape
John Alden sailed his new Schooner Malabar VI in the 1925 race around Cape Cod.

1981: George I vs. George II on Georges Bank

Eight oil wells dug 125 miles off Cape Cod

On this day in 1981, the New York Times reported on the start of drilling for oil in Georges Bank. It was not to be, however, as the first President George Bush later proclaimed a federal edict which prohibited all offshore oil exploration, at least until today when his son has rescinded that presidential edict. Eight exploratory wells were dug to average depths of 16,000 feet about 125 miles east of Cape Cod through early 1982.

The story from 1981 began:


At 4:57 P.M., Wes Campbell, a driller working for the Shell Oil Company, lowered a column of steel pipe deep into the Atlantic, 200 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The drilling column stiffened slightly as it hit bottom and then punched a 17 1/2-inch hole in the sandy face of Georges Bank.Fifty miles to the west, the Exxon Corporation sent its drill bit spiraling into the layers of sedimentary rock in search of oil and gas.

After six years of bitter legal wrangles between fishermen and oil companies, exploration began today on Georges Bank - one of America's richest fisheries. At the Zapata Saratoga rig were a knot of Shell Oil officials, nine journalists and a group of curious finback whales who poked their heads through the distant waves, sending up fountains of spray.

''Thank goodness we finally got it started,'' said O.J. Shirley, manager of government and industry affairs for Shell. ''It's only a matter of time before the fishermen get used to having us out here. We can have a very compatible relationship.''

Read the entire story here.

1925: Twenty-five yachts race around Cape Cod

On this day in 1925, the newspapers were reporting a yacht race around Cape Cod. The headlines and first paragraph are below and the text on the right.

Gets Away in Lead in Race of 256 Miles From American Y.C. to Gloucester.
25 Sailing and 3 Power Boats Are Competing for Brooklyn Trophy and Cruising Club Prizes.

A fleet of twenty-five sailing yachts and three power boats crossed the line in the races started today off the American Yacht Club for the Brooklyn Yacht Club Challenge Cup and the prizes offered by the Cruising Club of America for the long run to Eastern Point, Gloucester, from the Scotch Caps Buoy in Long Island Sound, a distance of 256 nautical miles...
Read the rest of the story on the right.

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