I never know quite what I'm going to get when I retreat to my bunk at
the end of a long day. Will I sleep well, my night punctuated only by
dreams featuring variously food, parties, and random combinations of
people from my past, present and future? Or will it be one of those
nights when I twist and turn, trying to find a position that doesn't
hurt my shoulders/backside/sunburn, while the ocean callously shoves me
from side to side in my bunk?
So far I seem to be having more bad nights than good, but overall it's
not too bad. I'm not feeling fuzzy through sleep deprivation, so that's
ok. I need to be able to think clearly out here.
I seem to remember it was much worse on the Atlantic. Then, the trade
winds were energetically pushing me in the right direction for much of
the time, but I recall nights when I felt like a hapless tennis ball
about to be served. The ocean would bounce me up and down several times,
like a tennis player testing the ball and composing himself. Then there
would be a slight pause, up in the air, and BANG! Slammed from the side
by juggernaut of a wave, which would foam around the boat for a moment
before rushing on its way. I haven't encountered those this time – so
Whether I sleep well or not, it's rest time, even if I'm not actually
asleep, and any time that allows muscles and skin a chance to recover is
welcome. So I lie on my side, wedged between the raised leecloths on
each side (see photo), with the clean, fresh smell of tea tree oil
rising gently around me. It's too warm for a blanket, so I'm using just
the thin silk inner lining for a sleeping bag, which is more than
And I wait for those dreams. I keep dreaming I'm on land, having a good
time with some friends, then I remember that I'm supposed to be rowing
across the Pacific and I have a sudden panic – how will I get back to my
boat? Where did I last leave it? The panic wakes me up and I realize I
don't need to find my boat – I'm there already. This leaves me with
slightly mixed feelings – relief that I'm where I'm supposed to be, but
a bit bummed that I'm not where I'd rather be!
News from Mum in the UK – she tells me that the Daily Telegraph has
included me in their list of Britain's top 20 adventurers. Their main
criteria is that they have made genuine firsts or pioneering journeys.
I am very honored to be mentioned alongside the likes of Sir Ranulph
Fiennes, Sir Chris Bonnington, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Col.John Blashford
Snell, Sir Chay Blyth – although I still have a long way to go to match
their lifetime achievements.
Steady progress again today. Conditions fairly rough but not too bad.
Unfortunately now being pushed north slightly, but not much I can do
about it. Bum too sore to row any more today!
Crave of the Day: nothing really. Have almost forgotten that dry land
Rave of the Day: Passionate Pesto Walnutz by Living Nutz. Very yummy!
Also enjoyed listening to Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. Thought
Booby report: no birds on board today. Just as I was starting to think
that every day was going to begin with half an hour of poop-scrubbing.
Am almost missing the chaps now – although not their mess. Still plenty
of other birds around. Some frigate birds higher in the sky, and some
noisy terns (?) swooping around the boat.
Hi to UncaDoug – thanks for sharing the word with the Girl Scouts! Say a
big hi to them from me, and tell them to keep up the good work. It all
helps! Wish you could email me over some of those cookies…
I'd also like to catch up on a few thank yous – thanks to Aenor for
doing an awesome job on the sun canopy. The tension in the lines is just
right. If it gets too windy I still have to take it down because it
starts banging me around the head, but it's better than it was last
And thanks to Liz Fischer for doing such a great job on painting the
decks. They're a lot cleaner now then when I departed – it was very
difficult to keep them clean with so many people working on the boat –
and they're looking really good. Great job Curtis, too, on the nonslip
Versatraction coverings on the hatch lids – looks good and much safer
An especially warm thank you to all who commented on yesterday's blog. Great
to get your feedback, and your thoughts on our collective future. Your
comnments have triggered more thoughts on my part – more soon.
And finally, a big hi to Keith and Teresa in Lake Havasu – lovely to hear
from you! Happy memories…
Position at 2015 HST: 17 50.555N, 161 26.356W
Wind: 15-20kts from E-ESE
Sea: 6-8ft waves, sometimes steep, white foam crests
Weather: some cloud cover – about 10% on average throughout the day.
Thin, light cloud mostly. No rain.
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com:
Strong and gusty, easterly trade wind breeze continue in the 20+kt range
until the afternoon of the 8th. By mid afternoon, wind speeds back off a
few knots. Rough seas build to 8-9 ft, a few waves could be higher.
Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
07/1800-08/1200 E-ENE 18-23 7-9
08/1200-13/0000 E-ENE 15-20 6-7
Sky conditions are partly cloudy with very isolated trade wind rain