Day 120: BAD

Whatever it was that you all said to Neptune yesterday, it must have worked. Conditions today were beautiful once the clouds cleared. Wave height, wind speed, and temperature were all perfect for a comfortable and profitable day’s rowing. It is very rare to get good mileage AND pleasant conditions. In fact, in around 500 days at sea I can probably count such days on the … Continued

Day 118: Feng Shui Afloat

A couple of days ago the wind turned against me, so I was stuck on the sea anchor for about 36 hours. I took this as an opportunity for some major clearing – or at least cleaning – of the decks. I wrote myself a To Do list in the back of my logbook, and then set to work. You’d be surprised just how much … Continued

Day 117: Guest Blog: David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier Campaign

I’ve been associated with the Blue Frontier Campaign, a nonprofit organization based in Washington DC, since before the start of my Pacific row. I was first introduced to David Helvarg, the Executive Director, by paddler and environmentalist Margo Pellegrino back in 2007. David’s guest blog touches on some issues that have cropped up in my own blogs recently, including the question of finding gainful service … Continued

Day 116: A Squadron of Squid

I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of squid is, but today “squadron” seemed appropriate. There were several major outbreaks of wildlife during the day. A couple of times this morning I could hardly get my oars in the water because there were so many yellowfins in the way. I didn’t mean to hit them, but couldn’t see them under the ruffled … Continued

Day 115: Life Is Like A Game Of Cards

Eric – you make a very good point that the way that we exercise our free will is affected by the many other factors that have conditioned our worldview – he lists sex, race, religion, the stars born under, mother, father, nationality, wealth or poverty, education, thousands of other environmental influences, and dumb luck. I agree that these are all factors in how we exercise … Continued

Day 114: Ocean Blind Tasting

Some people have asked me whether, having rowed on the world’s three major oceans, would I be able to tell one ocean from another if I was plonked blindfold in the middle of one of them. I’ve been thinking about this, and I think I could make an educated guess, with a better than 33% chance of getting it right. It’s not so much the … Continued

Day 113: It Ain’t Over Until The Whale Sings

I have dared to write up on my whiteboard a list of the degrees of longitude that remain to be rowed, so I can cross them off as I complete them. This is quite a symbolic act, a momentous landmark, a fundamental shift in my attitude. I’ve found that, for the first half-and-a-bit of a voyage, I have to take a very present-moment attitude to … Continued

Day 112: Five Things I Don’t Miss About Dry Land

Today I finished reading “The River of Doubt” about Theodore Roosevelt’s nightmare expedition in the Amazon. It reminded me of one of the things I really don’t miss about dry land – mosquitoes. I am sure they must serve some useful purpose in the overall scheme of things, but blowed if I know what it is. I spent a couple of weeks in the Amazon … Continued

Day 111: The 21st Century Explorer

Today I’ve been listening to The River of Doubt by Candice Millard, about Theodore Roosevelt’s rather too eventful expedition in the Amazon in 1913-1914. Roosevelt’s adventure took place during what came to be known as the Golden Age of Exploration. I don’t have access to the internet or Google here, so I’m writing from memory, but as I recall, the twenty years from 1895 to … Continued