Dictated by Roz at 20.37 on Monday 10th May. Transcribed by Rita Savage – with difficulty as the voice message broke up from time to time.
Position: -04.25812S, 157.66557
Today I had rather more company than I wanted and saw more people in one day than I saw in 104 days last year. They saw rather more of me than I would have liked.
It started this morning when I turned around at the end of a rowing shift to see a fishing vessel a few hundred yards away. I dived into the cabin to don shorts and bra and to pick up the VHF radio. There was no point in trying to hide as there was absolutely no doubt that they had seen me and had come over to take a closer look.
They were nice and friendly, and asked if I needed food or water or if I wanted them to pass on a message. I thanked them but said that I had more than enough provisions and adequate communication. I was tempted to ask if they had any ice-cold drinks. I wouldn’t really mind what it was as long as it was cold but I resisted the impulse.
They called back several minutes later to confirm the spelling of Brocade. They said they would report my position
And oh boy! They surely did. I can just imagine it: “Hey guys, you’ll never guess what we just saw! There was this crazy naked English woman rowing across the ocean. Check it out! “
The next thing I knew was my post-lunch siesta was interrupted by a loud throbbing noise. I lifted my sunhat and scanned the sky. A helicopter was approaching rapidly. I hardly had time to dive back into the cabin and scramble into my clothes again before they were about 50 yards away hovering just feet above the water. We had a sort of exchange over the VHF radio but it was mostly drowned out in the din of their engine. After about 5 minutes they roared off into the blue sky.
By now I was beginning to feel like an exhibit in a zoo. I hadn’t even realized that I was within helicopter range of land but surely that has to be the end of the unwanted attention.
So I went back to my usual outfit, as nature intended, and carried on rowing. Having my earbuds in and listening to “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” so didn’t even hear the next helicopter until it was too late. The first I saw of them they were hovering about 30 yards away, waving to me from the open door of the cockpit. With a girlish shriek I let go of the oars and tried to cover as much of myself as a wide-brimmed hat could be made to conceal. My wave to them turned into a kind of “Shoo, go away!” gesture. This really was getting a bit much.
I kept my clothes on for the rest of the day, though of course, nobody else turned up. I suppose I will have to keep myself clad for the remainder of the voyage. It is terribly inconvenient. Clothes get sweaty, messy and smelly and are less easy to wash than skin. I also need to scan the horizon and skies before I use my open-air bathroom.
I can’t help but feel rather disgruntled. I’ve only been out here 3 weeks, hardly any time to myself at all. Humph!
Other Stuff: No sign of Alf, three days now. I may have to resign myself to the fact that he has gone to the big spider web in the sky.
I am on course to pass about 30 miles to the north of the Tuu islands, quite a reasonable margin of safety. I logged a personal best of ??? nautical miles today according to my reckoning, despite all the interruptions. (The voicemail message broke up at this point, and I missed the vital number. Probably get it from Roz 12 hours from now, and will insert it then. Rita)
I wish I could say that it was due to my own efforts but it was mostly thanks to a very favorable current.
There was a torrential downpour while I was having my sponge down . . . . so I got a power shower as well.
Ecoheroes is live and thriving now, but it is never too late to join, so do go to ecoheroes.me and join our community of green-doers.
Thanks for all the great comments. Mum has been passing them along to me. So good to know that you are out there and following my adventure. I am feeling the love.
Rita: Roz is delighted to know your response to her request for comments. I enjoyed reading them – with tears and laughter.
Grateful thanks to latest donors to Foundation funds/contest: Russell Matthews and Daniel Peterson.
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