This is now the longest voyage I have ever undertaken. In decreasing order, it took me 104 days to row from Hawaii to Tarawa (in the Republic of Kiribati), 103 days to row the Atlantic, and 99 days from San Francisco to Hawaii. Last year’s jaunt from Tarawa to Madang (in Papua New Guinea) was barely a day trip – a mere 46 days, thanks to some big strong friendly currents.
Does it get easier as time goes on? No, not especially. It would be like saying to somebody at the end of a marathon, “Look, you’ve run 26.2 miles already. What’s a couple more?” You would probably get a very rude response consisting of two words, the second of which might well be “off”.
Having said that, physically and mentally I’m feeling fine, buoyed by healthy mileages in the right direction for the last few days. Looking forward to a good hot shower and a decent square meal, and the company of somebody besides Woody the Pirate (and I’m sure he’d say the same about me), but generally just getting on with it. It’s the equipment that is beginning to fall off the pace.
An ocean rowboat is a uniquely challenging environment for kit. Everything is closer to the water than sailing yachts, more in the water than on it. And because I am out here for so many months at a time, rust and mould have a golden opportunity to flourish. And flourish they do.
What I am leading up to, needless to say, is that the electrical system has crapped out again. The red LED of death has probably been triggered by the temperature sensor, which is looking decidedly the worse for wear. But it could also be because the cabin was like a sauna after I’d been confined to quarters for a couple of days, pumping out body heat. I’m airing it out as much as I can, given the rough conditions – trying to let in fresh air while not letting in water. And hoping that by tomorrow the electrical system will have rallied once again. The sooner we come up with some miracle power source that doesn’t require wires to transport it, the happier I would be!
Photo: Shortest voyage, biggest welcome. Madang 2010.
The high winds and waves were due to abate today. They have done so, marginally. By the 18th it should be much quieter, and I can hang out my sleeping bag for a much-needed airing. I am doing my best to maintain cleanliness and dryness in extreme adversity.
Cynthia – thanks for the book recommendation. Noted.
Jay – erm, I still have a mistrust of the microwave oven and cellular phone. I usually use a hands-free headset, and never knowingly eat something that has been microwaved if I can possibly avoid it. It’s not just the zapping, it’s that I can’t imagine wanting to eat anything that could be prepared in a microwave. I don’t like any of the values that a microwave represents. But that’s just me. And proves exactly your point, that we all have different belief systems. I would also have to dispute your comment: “Roz, time will tell whether you are amazing or not.” To take this away from me, and apply it generally – time will tell whether a person achieves results or not. But their results have nothing to do with their amazing-ness. A person can be amazing right here, right now in the present moment – simply by deciding to be. No time required!
Tom and Rick – thank you both for your thought-provoking comments last Philosophy Friday. Tom, great question. I wish I had a great answer. And Rick, I shall certainly keep my mind open to the possibility that the far side of the moon could be made from green cheese!
Kristian – sing a long a Grease sounds brilliant fun! Hope you had a fabby evening.
Thank you all for letting me know how you variously celebrated the solidarity sunset on Saturday. All very much appreciated. And Rico – your homage to Neptune seems to have worked – I have been enjoying good mileages and good direction for the last few days. As you seem to have some influence with the great god of the sea, please ask him for more of the same!
Quotation for today: “Even the longest journey must begin where you stand.” [note by Michael Moncur, September 01, 2004]
Sponsored Miles: Doug Grandt, Colin McWilliam – thanks for miles sponsored.