Where do I start about today? Well, I guess I left you trying to work out if I should row or not. The wind had picked up from the SSE which I measured it at a max 14knots but a steady 10/12. Combined with the other elements all that’s going to happen is I row on the spot again or loose ground. So I was a bit grumpy whenTony sent the weather and the ENE I had been counting on, on Sunday had vanished from the forecast. It was all S, SE, SSE. That’s basically what I’d had all day and I’d got nowhere. We exchanged a few texts and then he sent me the definition of the Doldrums. It was supposed to lighten the mood, not sure anything could have lightened my mood. I had to send him an email this morning apologizing for my sense of humour failure. My problem was that after going nowhere all day, having 4/5/6 more days of the same weather suggested I was stuck and was never getting out. A bit dramatic I know but after a few nights on little sleep and a day of torture, your mind is a strange thing.
So, wind was too high and I need some sleep. Slept for two and a half hours, checked position, 1nm North, 9 East. Despite being exhausted it was time to row, here’s how the day went:
(All times GMT)
10:30 rowed 2.5 hours, made 1.2nm South
Rested for two hours (it’s an hour and a half really, you have to take deploying and retrieving the para anchor off)
15:00 only lost 0.2 of the earlier mile, rowed 2.5 hours, made 1.1nm South.
Rested two hours.
19:30 rowed 2 hours, made 0.8nm South, got blown in by squall.
Rested one hour.
23:30 rowed one hour, got blown in again, made 1nm South.
Rested one hour.
21:30 intended to row to 04:00 but got blown in by a big SW squall that ended my day early but by 04:00 I had gone from 05 08.00n to 05 03.776n. That’s a five mile gain in the right direction. Amazing. The best news is that through the day each time I rested, I deployed the PA, the current went from just north of east to just south of east. I’m now drifting east but a tiny bit of south as well meaning I don’t loose the miles I gained. I got to 05 03n on Wednesday evening, it’s taken two days to get back there. This is definitely the toughest place in the world to row, no questions.
The good thing is, even if I could only do the same tomorrow, I am a little closer to getting out of the current when the tiny weather window opens, now on the 31st apparently. Tony seems unworried by the east drift, although by rowing as much as I have, it’s half what it would be. Because I have to get a long way south to make Cairns, I’m more worried because every day we add to the trip brings me closer to failing, the 180 days is all I have. No point worrying about that now though it’s for another time, I have to get clear of the ECC and then get to the Southern Equatorial Current to get west.
I do feel though like a punch drunk boxer, maybe the first Rocky, where he was beaten to a pulp, blood in his eyes but he kept coming back for more. In all the crazy things I’ve done, nothing has needed this much fortitude. I thought I was done yesterday, a couple of hours sleep and a minor gain and I feel good today. Could be back on the canvas tomorrow, they’ll have to whack me with the stool to stop me!
In other news:
COME ON MO!
Had a tumble on deck this morning in the dark, I was retrieving the para anchor and slipped on the wet deck, fell right on the corner of the side deck and cracked my tail bone. Boy it’s been sore the rest of the day.
I’ve also had to take to scaring away the Albertross that roost on the boat, they poop a lot and it’s difficult to clean off, tough luck is what I say.
I’ve seen lots of the surface boiling fish today, I rowed through acres of them this morning. I can’t work out if they are feeding or it’s the top of a bait ball and the big fish below are eating them. Not seen any big fish though.
One Albertross plummeted into the water 10 feet in front of the boat while I was cleaning up tonight. He came up with a fish, it was so big he struggled to swallow it. Pretty cool thing to see close up.
That’s about it, got to get some sleep and row through the night, oh, why 2.5 hours rows? It’s as long as I can sit on the rowing seat without getting blood to my bottom and if you hesitate for 60 seconds you can loose 15 minutes rowing.
Mike: Should have brought a shot gun! That would have improved the mood, I think they are bad luck only if you kill them.
Patrick: Good analogy, it’s pretty close but even tougher than SF if that’s possible.
Brian: Heres my favourite: Q: Why don’t cows have any money?
A: Because farmers milk them dry