Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 93 - The Fortune 500

As I enter the final 500 nautical miles to Tuvalu, I will be counting on
some good fortune - and some seriously hard work.

Just a very quick update tonight – really just to let you know I am
still alive and rowing like a woman possessed. As Ricardo put it, the
next few days are "mission critical" – if I am going to make it to
Tuvalu, I need to make the most of the relatively calm conditions
prevailing at the moment to try and make some progress back to the east.
So I will have to spend longer hours at the oars – around 16 hours a
day, not including time for meal breaks.

This was quite challenging today. The good thing about calm conditions
is that there is little wind to push me the wrong way. The bad thing
about calm conditions is that there is no wind to cool me down – and at
one stage this afternoon I seriously started to worry about the
potential for heatstroke. The sun was shining intensely, and although
most of my body was in the shade of the bimini (sun canopy) I could feel
the heat scorching my shins. And I was glugging water like it was going
out of fashion – certainly not like a woman with a not-yet working

But now the sun has set and it is a lovely night for rowing. The
crescent moon is keeping me company – as is a bird that has taken up
roosting rights on my aft hatch for the night. I feel well, and am
rowing strongly. I'm only taking this break now to recharge my GPS. So
far this voyage I have confined the GPS to the cabin, but as I enter the
final 500 nautical miles and steering becomes more critical, I've taken
to placing it near my rowing position so I can see more accurate
information about my actual course than my compass alone can provide.

It's also very motivating to see the miles ticking away on its little
screen – and with a tough rowing schedule ahead of me, I'm going to need
all the motivation I can get.

So I'd like to ask you, my dearest Rozlings, to continue to give me your
support and encouragement during this final countdown. I'm afraid I
won't have time to respond to your comments as I have done in the past –
all non-rowing activities are being curtailed – but I will be reading
them nonetheless. Keep me in your thoughts – and send me some good
vibes, good weather, and good wishes!

Weather report:

Position – as on RozTracker
Wind: during the day mostly 10kts, ESE-ENE. Since sunset, no wind.
Seas: 3ft swell from E
Weather: some scattered cumulus, but mostly clear skies

Other notes: as at 8pm, combined effect of wind + swell + current
resulted in a SW drift of 1.0kts, resulting in a westward movement of
0.6kts when not rowing.