Today I proudly crossed off another degree of longitude on the whiteboard in front of my rowing position (top right in the photo). For a long time, while I was dancing to and fro across 124 degrees West, I didn’t dare put the numbers up in front of me – it would have been too depressing (and I would have had to keep reinstating the 124 after having crossed it out).
But last week I decided I was ready. So now, like the Birdman of Alcatraz, I am keeping score – and it is helping to keep me motivated. Today the rowing conditions were uncomfortable, with a choppy swell coming at me from the side, but I knew that if I rowed all my shifts I could get to 128 degrees West – and the end of my audiobook, of which more below – and that thought kept me going.
For the stattos, here is how long it has taken me to cross each line of longitude so far. Just so you know, the Golden Gate Bridge is at about 122 30′ W.
To cross 123 degrees: 2 days
124 degrees: 3 days. Then went backwards and spent 3 days the wrong side of 124. Then 2 days the right side of 124. Then 8 days the wrong side (including a brief foray back into the 122’s). 4 days the right side. 6 days the wrong side. Then finally broke through for the last time.
124-125 degrees took 4 days.
125-126 degrees took 6 days.
126-127 degrees took 3 days.
127-128 degrees took 2 days.
And that’s where I am now. Waikiki is at 157 50’W – so there’s still a long way to go. But I’m getting ever closer to the trade winds, so I’m starting to feel cautiously optimistic about some decent progress from now on. Just hope I’m not tempting fate.
Current position (03:41 UTC) is 27 52.099’N, 128 01.573’W.
Roz Recommends: today’s audiobook was Collapse, by Jared Diamond, as recommended to me yesterday by a blog-follower. It’s a fascinating look at previous cultures that have brought about their own demise through mismanagement of their natural environment, and an intelligent summary of what we can learn from their mistakes. It’s unsettling reading (or listening), demonstrating as it does just how short-sighted we humans can be. But it’s also empowering, because he concludes that the power to change our future lies in our hands.
In case you’re stuck for ideas I’m going to suggest a subject for a Blue Pledge inspired by the audiobook Collapse. Promise to buy only fish approved by the Marine Stewardship Council – this guarantees that the fish comes from sustainable stocks.
Simply go to www.theblueproject.org and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button.
BE COOL, BE BLUE!
A special hello to all the kind people who have written to me from Hawaii to say Aloha and expressed a wish to greet me in. Don’t hold your breath just yet. but as soon as I know where I’m going to make landfall I will make sure I put a note on this website to let you know. And I’ll see you there!
Rochelle in Texas (and all your friends!) – thank you for your lovely message. I wish you could be in Hawaii too – I could seriously use that massage!
Hi also to Gene, John, Mark, Pippa, Dwight (sorry, don’t know the water temp here – cold enough, when I get splashed!), and Alex (thanks for the words of encouragement).
Click here to see Day 43 of the Atlantic Crossing January 13 2006.
You can now read any earlier blogs by exploring the list at the top right and at the foot of the Contents page. The link is to the left of the Marine Track box.