124 Degrees West. A line of longitude that is now starting to assume legendary status in my imagination. I’ve now crossed it four times. Out and back, out and back.

I claw my way a few miles westwards, then the wind comes along and blows me back again. I’m sure one day I’ll get across for good, but I don’t know when that day might be. I just hope it’s before I’m old and gray!

I know all things change, but right now I feel rather stuck, just about here on good old 124.

Yesterday I said that today could only be better. Weeeellll.. Maybe I was wrong.

The sea anchor had got itself in a right old tangle overnight, which took a couple of hours to sort out and redesign in the hope that it doesn’t happen again. Then some maintenance on the roof of the forward cabin led to an involuntary dip in the ocean, which I did not especially appreciate. It’s not exactly sunbathing weather out here.

And the rest of the day has been a no-rowing day as the winds rise and the waves steepen.

But life has a way of offering you a little gift and a smile, just as it’s busy kicking you in the shins. Today’s good news is that the watermaker worked, and actually sounded reasonably healthy. Maybe it was just battery trouble the other times? My theory now is that I need to use the watermaker when the sun is at its strongest, and hence my batteries at their most powerful – otherwise they lack enough oomph (technical term) to power the pump. We shall see, but for now it feels good to have a generous reserve of fresh water.

[photo: me wedged into a corner of my cabin, writing my blog on my Toughbook (see below)]

Other stuff:

Roger McGuinn – congrats on your changes for the greener! So you’ve dropped bottled water and got a green bag for the market. Also a stainless steel mug for refills. Well done you!

Jennifer Raiser – I think of your brother every time I use my (his) Toughbook – i.e. right now! It was really generous of him to let me use it for my voyage. Would be delighted to cooperate for an article in the Nob Hill Gazette – feel free to quote from my website, and if there are 2 or 3 quick questions then I’d be happy to oblige.

John Palmay – I usually write my blog in the evening, any time between 6 and 10pm. It’s a very uncomfortable exercise – I am sitting here in my cramped cabin with my head wedged up against the emergency beacon on the wall, bouncing around with every wave and trying not to break the laptop or make too many typos! Nope, no news copters. I’m out of copter range now. Wouldn’t mind a food drop – but spare me the Oreos! A slice of pecan pie would go down well, though.. (and, no, please don’t send me a slice to Hawaii – it’s just today’s craving, and the moment will be long-gone by then!)

Kristin – will talk about my training in another blog sometime soon. Watch this space!

Hi also to Kirk in Oklahoma, Nicki on the rowing machine (did you get a WaterRower – they’re awesome!), Xeno in California (thanks for the offer of Val, but I really prefer to go it alone!), Rob (a small running light – solar-powered, of course!), another Rob (I have thermals, but definitely need some neoprene socks as well).

And thanks to everybody else who is following my progress. And regress. And progress. And regress.

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