before starting my night's rowing…
Today has not been an easy day. Poor old Ricardo, my weather guru, has
been taking an e-bashing while I berate him via text for contrary winds
and adverse currents. It is the unhappy lot of the weatherman to take
the rap for the weather that he predicts – as if he had personally
selected and inflicted the frustrating conditions on me.
I would normally be a bit more reasonable, but I today was tired and
cranky. On the ocean I like to get into a routine and stick to it, but
as I near the final stages that is not going to be an option. I will
have to seize opportunities when they arise. I was rowing until 2am last
night to make the most of the cooler conditions and calmer winds after
dark. By the time I'd bathed and put the boat to bed, there was time for
just 4 hours of sleep before getting up at 6.30 to start rowing again –
and those precious few hours were disturbed by the new
booby-in-residence tap-dancing on the roof of my cabin every time a
swell came along. This booby is quieter and less belligerent than his
predecessors (although just as poopy), but has taken up a regular position
on the sleeping cabin rather than the storage cabin, so it gets a bit
annoying when he patters around to regain his balance when the boat
So today I've been a bit discombobulated, my mood not improved by rowing
just to stand still. If I was making 40 or 50 miles a day I could row
till the cows come home (or should that be till the boobies roost?), but
rowing many hours a day to make 15, or even 5, miles, is psychologically
challenging, to put it mildly.
The other drawback with less sleep is that there is less recovery time
for my poor body. In these sweltering conditions there is a significant
risk of the return of the baboon-bottom rash that plagued the early
stages of this row. I have two seat covers, which I usually rotate and
rinse at the end of each shift. But now I am rotating them as soon as
the spare one is dry, to try and avoid this very painful affliction.
So I plod on, trying to remind myself of all the good reasons to go to
Tuvalu, and not to think about Tarawa, just 440 miles away straight
downwind… I'll keep the faith, and I really do believe it is all going
to work out in the end – and then this difficult stage will be just a
memory, and it will all have been worth the effort.
Postscript: I was psyched up and ready to row most of the night. I'd had
an extra-big dinner followed by a Jocolat (chocolatey organic Larabar)
and a rocking soundtrack ready on my iPod. But ze weather, once again
she spit on my plans (to be said in French accent). The wind rose – and
from the wrong direction. So the sea anchor is out. I'm all caloried up,
and no place to go. Boo.
[photo: the new booby-in-residence]
Thank you to the Good Vibes Team and all the others who have sent such
wonderful words of encouragement. Thanks especially for the reminders to
stay present in the moment and not worry about the future. Very wise
words. Too easily forgotten – so keep reminding me, because it is SO
true. And the one part of this situation that I have control over(ish!)
is my mind.
Apology: Although I mentioned them both in the same blog, I did not
intend to imply any connection between my having the incorrect
coordinates for Tuvalu and the transition to a new weatherman. So, in
case there was any misunderstanding, I would like to take this
opportunity to apologize to Rick Shema of weatherguy.com. I'd also like
to thank him deeply for his professionalism and accuracy in guiding me
through the first stage of my Pacific row, and thus far in the second.
Thanks also to Rick and his family for all the kindness and hospitality
they have shown to my mother and me during our time in Hawaii. I wish
Rick all the very best for the future.
Position at 2220 HST: 0028.678S, 178 56.319E
Wind: for most of the day 10kts SE-SSE, now 18kts SE
Seas: 2-4ft swell SE
Weather: hot and sunny, scattered cumulus and some cirrus cloud
YOU WILL HAVE
GOOD PROGRESS AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THE PRESENT WIND BACKING, ALL THE WAY
MONDAY AT LEAST. WED WONT BE VERY GOOD AT ALL. YOU MAY WISH TO TRY THE
DROGUE AND SEE HOW THAT GOES. WHEN FACED WITH 13KN FROM SE GO FOR SPEED
YOU CAN MAKE UP TO 210 BUT SLOW DOWN IF YOU ARE PUSHED TO MORE THAN
THU WILL BE DUE EAST MOST OF THE DAY 14KN AVG GRADUALLY DROPPING AND
TO WHAT WILL BE A SUPER START TO THE WEEKEND. WIND WILL DROP TO ALMOST
NOTHING ON SATURDAY AND WILL CONTINUE VERY LIGHT THROUGHOUT SUNDAY, WITH
TENDENCY TO PICK UP FROM ABOUT 160. THIS WILL QUICKLY SHIFT TO 090 BY
AT LESS THAN 6KN. SHOULD THESE CONDITIONS MATERIALIZE AS IT SEEMS, YOU
HERE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WEATHER WINDOWS FROM NOW TO TUVALU AND
HAVE TO GIVE IT YOUR ALL TO GAIN PRECIOUS METRES IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
UP. POWER UP AND SHOW ME THOSE MUSCLES!