Thursday 26th November

12:30 GMT – Forecast – SE 9/12 until 15:00 SE/SSE 9 until 21:00 SE 9/12 until 03:00 SE/SSE 12/15. That’s a tough day, start is ok. The SE is not a big issue now that my course is 260°, however with all the SSE you’ve got to think the SE will all be low which is a problem. It’s the end of the day that’s tough, if the 15 is strong and SSE that’s hard to defend against. Have to wait and see. Very poor drift, only good thing you can say about it is it’s not negative. I’m starting early though to make up the hour and a half from yesterday so it’s a few extra miles and despite the forecast I think the wind angle is ok, we’ll see. Won’t get past 40 though, low to mid 30s is the best we can hope for.

18:00 – Tough going, stuck between low strong SE wind and SE current and only made 5nm in 4.5 hours. I’ve got to keep pushing until something changes but at this speed I’m not covering enough ground to find the new conditions. Doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t get to two knots and is very similar to when I was at 9°/10°, current, swell and wind conspiring to lock me up and also explains the really poor drift. Not even at 10nm for he day yet, could be another sub 20 day. Apparently the current turns west at 15°30, between me at 15°04 and there, that means there must be some south and south west. I hope I find it pretty quick, can’t just let the days slip away, but what can I do?

A bit on the tired side today, the fatigue always sets in the day after a really long row, plus I shortened my sleep period to row in the east wind that never showed.

07:00 GMT – Well, another 16 hours at the oars and only 20nm to show for it. It’s driving me crazy, we’re not sure now if it’s the revolving current or land effect, what I do know is it’s stopping me making progress. Without the current issue today would have been well in the 40s possibly more. I copped well with the SE wind and we actually had a spell of ESE that wasn’t in the forecast. I did eventually get going a bit south but strangely I can’t get west as the current is so strong. I’m drifting at the moment so hopefully that’s better and last night there was 18 knot wind overnight and through my pre dawn row so maybe that will get me going. Don’t have time to waste though. Don’t want to run out of gingernuts twice!

So as the rowing was just hard work no drama I thought I’d share a couple of strange “at sea for a long time ” things. The picture posted at the resupply has created a lot of comments, most polite, some not so complimentary. I’ve talked before about how my body adapted, but now I’ve been out here so long it’s really changed a lot. My arms are obviously much stronger, especially my forearms, my abs (never sure if I had any) and the muscle attachments on my ribs are all well developed. I can’t see but I’m sure my back has lots of new muscle and my legs have changed shape. I look down when I’m rowing and I can see each muscle band fibre as I push or pull with the leg, the contraction then moves to the next band and ripples across the thigh. The biggest change is in the arteries that supply energy and remove waste product in my arms, forearms, thighs, calfs and even those abs, all have large arteries feeding them. Not a pretty sight but incredible your body can adapt. I know for sure the last 48 hours I rowed 33nm, I couldn’t have done that at the beginning.

Another strange thing is hair growth. I just wish it was up top but it’s not. Because you’re not wearing anything the hair on your legs grows really long, on your toes, on your fingers, I’ve even got a light covering of hair on my stomach. Also as I’m out in the sun all day it’s all bleached, strange but true!
In other news:

Cairns is 1148nm away , thought I would be cracking the 1000nm to go tomorrow, guess not.

No wild life today, guess I was spoiled the last two days.

Need to get eating under control. I’ve had a bit of a binge since resupply day, difficult as well doing really long days, you need to eat more but it’s easy to over do it.

Apparently, according to the ORS (Ocean Rowing Society) I’ve already completed my crossing of the Pacific. You only need to reach the Tasmin, Coral or Solomon sea and you’re done. Whey hey!

That’s it for today, hopefully have at least an improvement tomorrow.

John

Out

Notes:

Mike: Bah humbug, good to see you’ve got something new to be grumpy about for 6 weeks. There was a glitch in the system Mike.

Rod: I’ll try and loose a couple of pounds before Cairns Rod, not easy with a boat full of biscuits though.

Richard: Got to admit, I’m a little tired of never having a day off. Last big push and I can sleep for a couple of days.

Brian: Love the joke Brian. Coe’s a muppet, it’s all about the dosh. You’d think he’d could have seen that coming a mile away, he should have given the sponsorship up before the election. What’s a sponsored consultant anyway? Daft question 2021answers that.