Sisyphus might sound like an unpleasant disease, but in fact he was the guy in Greek mythology who was condemned to push a boulder up a mountain for all eternity. As soon as he stopped pushing the rock would roll backwards, so he just had to keep pushing away. I know how he felt.

I continue to row hard just to stand still. The wind has continued to strengthen, so despite rowing all day I have slipped back slightly towards the California coast. The seas have been rough, and once in a while a wave slaps into the side of the Brocade sending a torrent of cold salty water over me. The skies are leaden, with no sunshine to help dry me out. Everything on the boat is damp and dank.

The one bright point in the day was provided this morning by a seal who kept me company for about half an hour. Sometimes he seemed to be chasing the end of my oar as it dipped in and out of the water, and at other times he just seemed to be trying to entertain me – diving down under the boat and popping up on the other side, or rolling onto his back and waving his flippers at me. He really did seem to be doing his best to cheer me up – and it worked!

But only temporarily. The weather forecast is for the winds to get stronger and the waves to get bigger – and all coming out of the northwest. It seems that my Sisyphean task is going to be a tough one, and it’s hard to put that out of my mind for long.

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