That Equatorial Counter Current (ECC) is getting closer, it’s at least a couple of weeks of uncomfortable, wet, hard rowing if not more but I’m no more than 80nm away.

Up early this morning and I like the flexibility this extra hour gives me. Didn’t last long this morning. I’d drifted right on course overnight and got free miles for the first time this week. The wind was right and I was ready. Text from Tony saying check email, there’s 25 minutes I should bill iridium for. Email says, ECC hitting Kingmans’s Reef and some splitting off and heading NE, current heading will run you into it head on. Then I had two choices, one east and one west. Without boring you why (because I’m tired and running out of steam) we chose west. This meant heading 10° higher than yesterday. All depends on the wind, NE would be perfect and there was some in the forecast. I reset my GPS and the hour was gone!

Set off ok making good time. The sky was dark and there were a couple of big flashes. There was a massive lightening storm to my east which was tracking NW. Pretty impressive watching the lightening and after about an hour and a half it got as close as it would. Sprinkled some rain on me and carried on its way. The problem was these weather events mess up the wind. Your never sure what’s real or going to pass with the storm. Eventually I started to get back the north wind, it was more NW really, not good for my course. It soon went back north and was just ok.

Stopped for breakfast, still porridge if anyone’s interested. Back out, still making good direction and speed, however towards the end of the session the water started to push back. I’d been sculling all morning, not that my legs and arms wanted too. You realize things are changing pretty quickly when you start finding your timing out too often. Sure enough by the time I stopped for my break I had slowed to well under 2 knots.

Because of loosing the time in the morning my breaks were only 15 minutes (9 hours rowing with two 15 minutes breaks), so I was quickly back out. It just got harder and harder to make both speed and direction. The main swell was now SE and the wind NW, so both pushing across me. The swell was fighting with the current and you could hear the two ripping against each other.

I did end up with the best mileage of the week, however I’m nervous about a bad drift tonight, not sure I will sleep that well.

Well just have to see, it’s going to get a lot tougher before I can aim straight at Cairns!

In other news:

This reef is not far away but there is land also not far away, Christmas Island is just 450nm way.

No Dolphins today, I guess they had bigger fish to fry.

Half the team are at the cottage this weekend.

Libby is finishing her Nando’s training, dress rehearsal on Monday. Georgie and Cheryl are invited guinea pigs apparently, one sister serving another, will that work?

That’s it for now.

John

Out

Notes:

Mike: I like doing it, it’s a great record, just rather sleep sometimes.

Jean-Guy: I’m still a mileage freak don’t worry, I just need an excuse when it’s poor.