Okay, I’ve got over my whining phase, at least for now. I am actually feeling quite lucky to have made it out onto the ocean at all, when I compare myself with the two other solo rowers who had hoped to row the Indian Ocean this year.
Rob Eustace, who I met in Perth when he came along to help at the Saturday work party to get my boat ocean-ready, seemed well set up and ready to go. I didn’t see his boat before it left for Geraldton, but it sounded as if it had been in good shape when it left the UK and all he would have to do is hop in and go. But unfortunately he got a horrible stomach bug within the first few days, leading to vomiting and diarrhoea, and abandoned the attempt. I believe he intends to try again next year.
Keith Whelan,I haven’t quite managed to piece together the facts, but I gather that during a tow (either to the Abrolhos or to Geraldton, I’m not quite sure) his hatches leaked, resulting in various rechargers being damaged and having to be replaced. There was also some damage to the rudder.
It goes to show how much is involved in making a successful ocean crossing. Boat, equipment, rechargers, provisions, watermaker, and electrical system all have to be present and correct and functioning (and paid for, which can be one of the biggest challenges). The rower has to manage to stay healthy – with very basic bathroom facilities, more than one ocean rower before now has succumbed to stomach ailments.
Then you’ve got the navigational challenges – islands, currents and winds to contend with. Sometimes ocean rowers have even had to be picked up because they were falling apart mentally – being on a small boat out of sight of land isn’t for everybody.
I don’t say this by way of tooting my own horn. Rather, my intention is to say that I feel very lucky that my troubles were relatively minor, and were discovered while I was still within reach of land and able to get them fixed and get going again within a matter of a couple of days. And thank heavens for Aquapacs, Sea To Summit drybags, and Pelican cases, which I have in abundance and which so far have kept my portable electronics safe from water damage.
Since I left North Island in the Abrolhos, my progress may have been slow, but I’m still out here and still shipshape.
So far. But I know better than to tempt fate by taking anything for granted. Still many miles to go, and anything could happen….
There was no wind today, so I was able to make some slow but steady progress in the direction of my choice, which made a nice change. A few squalls around (it’s raining again now) which resulted in this rainbow. I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but in real life it looked as if the rainbow continued beyond the violet band, heading back into red and yellow again. Is that possible?!
Richard in DFW – liked the Nessie poem! No, I don’t think the Nessie/Heffalump is a collection of creatures. But we may never know.
Jay – thanks for your thought-provoking questions. To pick up on just one aspect of that, it seems to me that much of our “reality” is about perception. We find inspiration where we look for it (Rolling Stones, ocean rowers, etc!) rather than where it actually exists. It is all about how we filter and process “reality” as we perceive it. So is there such a thing as an objective “spiritual reality”? Or is it what we want it to be?
Tumbleweed Truckers – Joe Hurley was superb as the other narrator on “Life”. Even (dare I say it) better than Mr Depp himself. He actually sounded quite like Keith Richards, but with teeth. I hope the skunk aroma has worn off your dog by now. You live in a lorry? Very cool! (except when shared with a skunky dog!)
I am now listening to “The Book Thief“” by Markus Zusak, which was highly recommended to me by James Lush in Perth. By “highly recommended” I mean it was pretty much a direct command to read it! But it was a good call. Excellent so far. Thanks, James!
Sponsored Miles: Grateful thanks to Judy Ebert, Connie Cook and Ian Malcolm – between them they have sponsored quite a number of miles.