I realized, after I'd posted my blog last night, that I had done you a
disservice. I'd had a really nice day, and had not shared it with you.
Instead I'd chosen to focus on the one negative aspect of the day – my
worries over where I will land up. It was as if I felt guilty about
having a good time out here, as if adventure has to be hard work –
blood, sweat and tears – instead of sometimes just relaxing and enjoying
So, slightly belatedly, here is my account of My Good Day At The Ocean
7am: Wake up at dawn. Rain is drumming on cabin roof. Decide to stay in
bunk and wait for it to pass.
7.15am: Get up. Update logbook while munching breakfast Larabar.
9am: Phone call with Nicole. Exciting updates and good news on our
9.45am: Row. Finish J Maarten Troost audiobook. Really enjoyed that one.
Switch over to Wayne Dyer.
11am: Take break to video birds swooping at leaping fish
1pm: Lunch – Beansprouts with trimmings.
1.30pm: Siesta. Cabin is hot as hell, and the wind is light, so I put up
the sun canopy and snooze on deck in the shade, enjoying the breeze on
my skin. Only the third or fourth time it has been calm enough for me to
do this, so it's a real treat.
2.30pm: Row, taking a break at 5pm
8pm: Watch sun set while I brush my teeth on deck. Am surprised by a
fish swimming out from under my boat right under where I am crouching at
the side. Watch the fish as it does several laps, under my boat, out a
bit, back under the boat. Get rather mesmerized. Teeth get very well
8.30pm: Retreat to cabin for blogging and emails. Write blog while
watching last vestiges of light fade colorfully from the western sky.
Find out about being Outside Mag Adventure Twitterer, plus other updates
and news. All good stuff.
10.30pm: Retire to bunk, feeling content. I may not be sure where I'm
going, but at least I'm having a good time getting there.
[photo: She knows not where she's going, for the ocean will decide. It's
not the destination, it's the glory of the ride. (adapted from Zen Dog)}
Crunch time turned out not to be quite as crunchy as I'd expected. I'd
thought I needed to make my decision before entering the No Man's Land
of the ITCZ, and if Tuvalu head south, if Tarawa head west. But on
re-reading Jason Lewis's blog, I saw that he'd cut south through the
ITCZ and North Equatorial Counter Current, and then skimmed along just
north of the Equator to reach Tarawa. So whichever I choose, for now the
plan of action remains the same – to push south.
Today I got a great email from Jason, packed full of helpful information
about how to navigate the ITCZ and into Tarawa – but in it he sounded a
note of warning about the challenge that lies ahead: "Getting down to 5
or 6N shouldn't be too bad. It's punching out of the southern edge, 6N
to 4N, where the water funnels up from the southern hemisphere, that it
gets tricky. It's when you're asleep that you lose ground, of course
(can you just not sleep ;-)." Hmmm, interesting times ahead.
I posted my new weekly RozCast video today. Probably by the time you
read this Dawn will have edited it and posted it to YouTube. Look out
for it via the RozTracker!
A special thank you – because it's been a while since I said it – to
TeamRoz. Mum, Nicole, Laureen, Sinead, Daisy and Dawn – thanks for
keeping the show on the road. And thank you too to Hunter, Traci and
Evan at Archinoetics for the incomparable RozTracker – and I'm looking
forward to working with you in the future. And to Dr Aenor for her
ever-alert medical radar. An ocean rowing gal couldn't wish for a better
support team – thank you!
Thanks also to Karen Morss for writing to J Maarten Troost on my behalf.
Karen, is there anybody in the world whose email you can't lay your
hands on?! I take my hat off to your enterprising spirit. You don't
happen to have Johnny Depp's phone number, do you??!
Thanks for all the comnments, and especially the Tweets about my Outside
Magazine ranking. Made me laugh! Also for all the input about Tuvalu vs
Tarawa. Weatherguy and I are in discussions….
UncaDoug – Re the ideas about stopping the sun canopy flapping – yes, I
do have the means to secure the canopy to the spare oars. Stops it
flapping. Works a treat – except that then there isn't enough headroom
underneath it for me to row! Don't concern yourself over it – I know
what I have on board, and I'm pretty good at improvising. If it was
possible I would do it. If not, I have a plan for Stage 3. Thanks for
the good news from G8 – that is really encouraging! 350ppm gets my vote.
Sindy – love the t-shirt!
Special hello to Sue at Green People. I'm now on my fourth tube of
SPF22! Great stuff – the suntan is coming along nicely. Thanks for the
excerpt from the Blogger blurb. Wow! I do actually feel quite famous!
Michelle U – I'm embarrassed to admit that I wouldn't recognize the
Pleiades if they punched me on the nose! I know they're the seven
sisters, but not quite sure how to pick them out. Sorry!
Meg – thanks for the prediction. I hope you're right!
Quick answers to quick questions:
Q: Are you able to try to hit the Equator and the International Date
Line at the same time? That would be one heck of a feat, and something
interesting to see on the GPS receiver!
A: It would indeed be interesting – but not sufficiently interesting for
me to make that detour and blow my chances of making landfall!
Position at 2115 HST: 07 01.350N, 174 43.949W
Wind: 5-20kts, E-ESE
Weather: extremely variable. Mostly sunny and hot with clouds, but wind
all over the place. No showers today.
Weather forecast, courtesy of weatherguy.com
As of Thursday, 09 July 2009. Expect widely variable wind speeds and
direction while in close proximity to the ITCZ. NEerly trade winds
continue around the 10-15 kts, but veer to ENE 10kts by tomorrow
morning, then back to NE 10kts by tomorrow night. Periods of lighter
winds. Seas to 2-6ft.
Sky conditions: Mostly cloudy with low level clouds. Isolated
rainshowers, squalls, and possible thunderstorms. Wind speeds in these
ITCZ: The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) has heated up just
south of your present location. Convective clouds have increased
producing squalls and thunderstorms. The axis of the ITCZ is centered on
05 00N between 170W and 180E/W. The northern ITCZ edge is about 06 30N
and the southern edge near 02 00N. As of this morning, winds south of 07
30N to 03 00N were from the NE direction at about 7-22kts. In squalls
and rainshowers winds were 40kts.
Ocean Current: Still looking for the current to become ENE or Eerly
flowing at about 06 00N in the North Equatorial Counter Current. This
current extends to about 01 00N. There are periodic fluctuations in
Forecast below is for a SWerly course.
Date/Time HST Wind kts Seas (ft)
09/1800-10/0000 NE 10-15 4-6
10/0000-10/1800 ENE 7-12 3-5
10/1800-11/0900 NE 7-12 3-5
11/0900-13/0000 E 2-7 2-4
13/0000-14/1800 ENE-NE 5-10 3-5