Friday 30th October

13:00 – Forecast – ESE-E-ESE, 12 to 15 to 9/12. Don’t want it to go light as it won’t help at all, at least it’s from a good angle. The wind last night did move up to ESE, I pulled the para anchor in and drifted. Unfortunately, despite a good wind I’ve only moved about a mile which means plenty of adverse current, hopefully with the wind I can make some progress but it will be modest and not what’s required.

18:00 GMT – Back on para anchor, what a bummer. Here’s how you know you’re in the tough seat, I sorted the deck, got sat down, 5 maybe 6 strokes and a big angry Pacific wave came and dumped on me. Fortunately I’d decided not to put on a shirt or I would have been really annoyed. I woke about an hour early and was apprehensive to look at my position as it could have been a disaster, however it wasn’t. Problem was we hadn’t gone far but I had made a little south. What woke me was a change in the wind that was eating the gain, as it had dropped to SE. Fiddled with the rudder but couldn’t do anything about it. In the end I started this morning on about the latitude I finished. Shame because I lost about 0.6 of a mile, doesn’t sound much but at the moment it is over an hours rowing. Anyway by the time I started the wind had moved up a bit to low ESE and I was moving ok, even got east in the wind for 15 minutes. By the end of the session it was back to SE. I can only drift under 270° on either ESE or E wind so para anchor is out which will give me some current information. I’ve made three meals and will try and get through the day with mini stops.

Speed is still a problem with the underlying speed being 1 to 1.5 knots. I was forcing it over 2 knots but that’s hard to maintain for 13 hours. In the end I was doing about 35 minutes a mile and made a couple of miles south. I’m at 09°43.583S. Aim in the next session is to get past 09°45S and the end of the day in the 09°50S. I’ve got to work out in the next 4 or 5 days how to get south 15nm a day. That current information, I’m going north on para anchor which explains the drag, it’s a pain but I have to keep pushing, I’ve got to get some current going my way some time.

06:00 GMT – Well that was definitely three separate sets of conditions. The three meal thing worked great, rowed from 18:00 to 05:00 nearly non stop. First 3 hours the SE wind had strengthened and was pushing me off course, it was tough going and the current had plenty of north in it making it even tougher, snails pace is what it was. Then all of a sudden the east wind chimed in, nice and strong and that blew until 00:30. That was the best bit of rowing for days, not quite so tight up to the swell so very little water in the boat and the wind pushing hard. Yet the only problem was the current again, despite the great wind I only just managed to average over two knots. Then at 00:30 until finish the east wind switched off and I was left with high SE again. I’d got most of the lost course back while the east wind blew, all went again in the second SE blow. I did nearly get to 09°50S, just .3nm. The problem though is I’ve had to use the para anchor and I’m now going NW, fast enough for a couple of those hard earned miles to disappear. They took about 3 hours each to row! Frustrated is not the word.

So the ESE in the forecast , which I should be able to drift off, has all except this morning been ESE/SE, so it’s hard to get to your course and means I have to use the para anchor.

In any other news:

The Pacific lightening show was spectacular last night and this morning. Last night big sheets of lightening lit up massive chunks of the sky. This morning through heavy cloud it lit the clouds from behind creating a weird other worldly feel, a bit on the spooky side.

The sunrise was great as well this morning, a burnt orange background with black and grey storm clouds in front. On the horizon was a line of dark cloud that looked like a mountain range, with a big peak in the centre, there were orange illuminated clouds above so it looked like a volcano with the ash plume above.

Georgie is at the university cross country champs in Fredericton this weekend. She can’t run because she’s injured but the team invited her to support as she’s been so committed, sounds like she’s having a blast and she can check out the course for next year.

That’s it for now.

John

Out

Messages – Too tired to do messages. Will respond to them tomorrow.