Location: The Brocade

I’ll keep this blog brief, as I haven’t quite got my sea legs yet and tapping on the keyboard makes me feel queasy.

Last night, at a few minutes to midnight, I pushed away from the dock at the Presidio Yacht Club and rowed out under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

That makes it all sound very easy. In fact it took me a ridiculous amount of time to row the very short distance from the club to the bridge. The tide was supposed to be “slack”, but it still seemed to be coming in pretty forcefully and I was rowing hard just to stay still.

But as with many things, you put all the hard work in and then when the time is right it suddenly all comes good and you make rapid progress. So after about half an hour of going nowhere, the tide finally turned, I passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, and rowed out into the darkness beyond.

I rowed all night, and apart from a one-hour nap I’ve been rowing all day. Conditions this morning were perfect – milky calm and wonderful. But during my nap the wind picked up, and this afternoon has been a battle into a headwind coming out of the west. Tonight I’ve put out the sea anchor to try and preserve the progress made so far, and I hope not to be blown back too far while I sleep.

It feels strange to be back on the ocean. I almost can’t believe this is for real. It was such a last-minute scramble to get ready in time, i didn’t have much time to think about it.

Now I am out here, and it is familiar but different. On the one hand it is easier, because I’ve rowed an ocean before so I don’t have that self-doubt that I suffered from on the Atlantic. But whereas on the Atlantic there are helpful winds from the outset, I’ve got a 200-mile battle (at least) before the winds come around behind me and help me towards Hawaii.

But hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it!

Thanks to those who came down to see me off last night. Thanks especially to David from Blue Frontier who bought me a selection delicious breads to supplement the ship’s rations!

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