Before I start, with all the trauma yesterday I forgot it was Sunday so didn’t do a review, the second half of the blog fixes that.
(While I’m writing this, there’s a big squall passing over and the sun is approaching the horizon, it’s peaking through the dark clouds and the colours are amazing).
So I got a note from coach Tony saying I should get the para anchor out and let my body rest for 3 days. While I appreciate the sentiment, I have some issues (discussed below) with rest at this stage, but got his drift. I fought to get as far south as possible, had to give in and dropped the para anchor over the side. The current pulled on the anchor and it carried me along all night nearly due east, even getting me a bit of south.
I thought I had nothing to do today but sit and wait, didn’t think I would get further south and would pick up the SE current weaker but further north. I checked my position a few times in the night and we were on plan. About 13:00 GMT we started going north, by 16:00 we had gained 2nm north. With the distance we travelled east (about 35nm) that would mean I’d be 10 miles further North and may not find the current. Either the current had changed or there was something amiss with the PA. Now if you pull in the anchor you can easily loose half a mile while you do it, so it’s a big decision. In the end as it got light, I decided to pull it in. As I was getting ready, I noticed the boat was sitting across the wind and swell. The wind had moved to about 240°, there’s a chance I could row a little and get back at least some of the two miles before it changes. Pulled in the anchor and it had some how got fouled, strange after being ok most of the night. Anyway, I put it away as quick as possible and got on the oars. I made 100° so kept going. I rowed for 5 hours, made 4 miles south and 17 of the 35 west. I couldn’t believe it would hold, put the para anchor out so I could get some food, did the same this afternoon. I’m now in the SE current heading down the back of Kingman’s Reef, hopefully. Anyway, this (these) squall is giving me a hard time and progress south is happening but quite slowly, when the wind and swell ease the current should do its thing.
So the rest thing, not sure I want to rest. I know that sounds strange, I’ve been in a good routine, working hard and feel fine. I’m afraid if I rest it will be hard to get going again. A bit like the guys in the Tour de France, they all ride on their days off. I guess I don’t have a choice.
Other things about this situation is that the 75 miles east I’ve come all have to be rowed again. That will add a day or so, so 5 days added to arrival. I’m taking this one day at a time but I’d also like to be home for Christmas dinner.
(Had to stop for a while that squall was really knocking us about).
So, the week review. I was going to write about while it’s been a tough week I soaked up all the challenges, not gone backwards and was ready to face the toughest challenge of the trip, however that’s all now a bit irrelevant. I was thinking today that maybe for me, this trip is not about how fast and how many days, but a test of my mental durability. I already know from the Atlantic that I can do fast. I’ve done some good days on this trip as well, but I have had one heck of a variety of challenges and so far so good. I may have moaned and groaned but I’ve got on with it regardless and I will do the same over the next few days. There’s no record to best because no one has landed in Aus. My time will be the record so who cares (me actually) as long as I get there and make the best of every opportunity (just like today) I’ll be fine.
In other news:
Christmas Island which is east is now only 400 miles away. I need west for breakfast.
The Coxless Crew have made some ground up in the last couple of days, they are just under 300nm away. They are still above 10 degrees though so have the funky zone to come yet.
Saw some flying fish, incredible things, they pop out and whizz their fins to fly. If they are loosing altitude they whizz their tail fin, it hits the water and they fly another 100m.
Think that’s about it, I can’t write anymore, it like being in a washing machine.
Grumpy: Carl never had any trouble passing me, good to know he’s in shape, maybe we should have a Hemsby weekend and get as many of the old group back together.
Mike T: 100% right, the Equatorial Counter Current will be tough, didn’t realise it would be this tough to get to that’s all.
Mario, Maria, Juliana: Glad you’re following along, I’m sure the numbers were right, I’m just going backwards. Team will check and amend if necessary.
Mr. Smart: Positive messages only please. I don’t need flight times from Christmas Island, you obviously don’t know me, I’m not about to quit and despite discussing it early on I never will.