Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Day 72 - A Hard Day's Night

It was a beautiful night to be rowing. Conditions today were tricky – a
changeable wind and a strong north-flowing current presented me with
difficult choices to find the least of the navigational evils. I decided
to push west and try and get out of the strongest of the current,
although without knowing how far the current extended this was rather a
leap of faith.

But whatever the wisdom of my strategy, the long day at the oars has
brought some compensations. After sunset the skies cleared and the moon
shone clear and bright, highlighting the billowing upper contours of the
scattered cumulus. The wind had dropped away to not even a whisper and
the ocean was silent and calm. The gently lapping waters reflected the
moon in a bright path of ripples to the horizon.

When I looked over the side of the boat as I was brushing my teeth, I
saw something I'd never seen before – a shoal of a hundred or so fish,
each about 6 inches long, slowly synchronized-swimming alongside my
boat. They were only visible while their bodies reflected the moonlight,
so when they entered the moonshadow, or swam too deep for the moonlight
to reach them, they seemed to disappear like shy ghosts.

I would say it was a magical night – but alas the magic does not extend
as far as a miraculous change in the current. It's still pushing me

[photo: sunset over rougher seas – taken last Friday]

Other Stuff:

CONGRATULATIONS, SARAH!!! Today my friend Sarah Outen made landfall in
Mauritius after becoming the first woman to row across the Indian Ocean.
The crossing took her 123 days. Huge congratulations to Sarah on a job
superbly well done. I know how much hard work she put into the
preparations as well as the row itself, and she thoroughly deserves her
success. Check her out at sarahouten.co.uk.

Congrats also to her meteorologist, Ricardo Diniz, for bringing her in
safely. Ricardo was briefly my weatherman for my Atlantic crossing
(until my satphone broke and I couldn't receive forecasts any more) has
emailed me a few times recently to ask about various aspects of ocean
rowing, all the better to advise Sarah, and I know she has greatly
valued his support. Well done, Ric!

I continue to be amazed by the quality of the poems submitted for the
award scheme. What a lot of talented Rozionados we have! Thank you for
all the submissions so far. I've just proposed to Nicole that we put
them up on the website so they can be appreciated by all. I'll keep you

Weather report:

Position at 0030 HST: 03 06.876N, 175 59.708W
Wind: 0-15 knots, S-SE
Seas: 1-4 feet
Weather: light overcast most of the day, occasional sunshine, occasional

Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com

Latest Roz tracker reported your position as: 03 06N 175 48W as of 03Aug

As of Monday morning 3 Aug 2009. According to measured data, there is
SE winds 0-8kts in your area with moderate to light rainshowers. South
of the equator, more of the same. Wind direction should to shift more
ENEerly 5-15kts today then, SE 5-15kts on 01 Aug becoming light and
variable and possibly SW 5-15kts.Uncertainty remains in the forecast, as
previously discussed.

According to satellite imagery, there is moderate convection with heavy
rainshowers and squalls overhead and to your north. Minimal cloud
activity to your south.

Sky conditions: Mostly cloudy. Scattered heavy rainshowers, squalls,
and possible thunderstorms.

Forecast (low confidence due to extreme variability in equatorial
regions and naturally occurring small scale fluctuations in
direction/speed in the Doldrums)
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft) est
03/1800-04/1200 SE-E 5-15 2-5
04/1200-04/1800 E-NE 5-15 2-5
04/1800-05/0600 NE-E 5-15 2-5
05/1800-05/2100 E-SE 5-15 2-5
05/2100-06/0600 SE-S 0-10 1-4
06/0600-07/0000 Light and Variable 1-4
07/0000-08/0000 SE 5-10 1-5

Next Update: Thursday, 06 August