Thursday 24th December (25th Dec in Oz)
14:30 – Forecast – ESE/E 9/12 until 18:00 then ESE 9/6. The wind has gone a lot lighter than previously forecast so it’s going to need effort today, it gets even lighter still late afternoon so I really need to get within 10 nm, currently 45 to go. Had a good drift and a good row in so in a great place. Need 10nm from each session plus 5 after 04:00. It’s misty this morning not raining yet, have to wear damp clothes to start as I didn’t get them dry last night, it’s like going back to the start of San Francisco.
Rare treat this morning, I found a bag of porridge last night, looks good enough to eat, can’t wait.
19:00 GMT – A bit of a disappointment unfortunately, only managed 9nm. The wind was about 6 knots when I started, within 15 minutes it was windless and has been the same ever since. That means sculling, I’m doing ok but with no help from conditions it’s a challenge, 2.3 knots an hour, the last hour of the four was most difficult. Can’t work out if that’s me waning or the conditions tightening. For those new to the blog I enjoy sculling and you can get power behind your stroke but it’s basically squats with a one ton boat as resistance, at a conservative 20 strokes a minute you get, 20 x 60 x 15 = 18,000 strokes, so in a 15 hour day if I scull all day that’s a lot of squats and at this stage of proceedings I’m not sure how I’ll do. As Rob said, you’ve spent 7 months training, get on with it!
I also think I need to get under 19nm from the pass, there won’t be much drift tonight, this is where the extra 6/10 miles yesterday would have given me an easier day. The fat lady needs to go gargle for a while.
Porridge was great, I also found a mars bar and a clif bar in the same hiding place, they went last night while I had some coffee.
08:30 GMT – What a day, what a catastrophe, it was definitely the conditions tightening. I’ve ended up with a low pressure area right above me all day, no wind other than just hints and all of it west, W, NW, SW just enough to add to the misery. The current got harder to fight all day and with no help I was under 1 knot for ages. Now I’m drifting I can see why, the current is running ESE so it was basically head on. There was enough wind in the forecast 3 days ago to blow a million hats off, just when I need it, it evaporates. We’ve also had to change the plan, I’m now heading for Grafton pass, it’s more south so should have been easier with a south / SSE current. The wind unfortunately doesn’t look like helping the next two days either. I have 54nm left and it could take 3 days, not sure my mind was built to take this amount of frustration.
Add to the above, rain so hard and cold I had a thermal, wet pants and rain jacket on. Rained for a solid couple of hours. The sun never came out afterwards but made its presence felt, the heat and humidity were horrendous.
All I can do is keep grinding, at least this close there’s help if it goes pear shaped.
In our news;
– Saw a Dorado jump today and think he was by the boat, but gone by the time I got out of my seat. He was an incredible navy blue, their ability to change colour is mind blowing, same as the Blue Marlin.
– There was also something big jumped by the boat, I only saw the splash, it could have been a ray I think.
So, all in all a disappointment today, even at the end of the first session I was still positive, it’s amazing how fast things can turn on you. I want to thank everyone for their good wishes, there have been 100s of messages in the last few days, all read and appreciated, thank you.
That’s it then, let’s see what tomorrow brings, 23nm till I start negotiating the entrance to Grafton Pass. Might be there by end of day!