Today has been an odd day. After so many days at sea, I had got into quite a routine, which swung along easily without requiring too much mental energy or concentration. But today the weather, and circumstances, have been conspiring to shake things up around here. This is not a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
The last couple of nights have been squally, making for little sleep and much bouncing around. Today the squalls spread into the daytime as well – winds variable, and bright sunshine giving way to dark grey clouds and onslaughts of rain. At times the rowing felt easy, at other times like rowing through glue.
I’d got used to looking at the figures in my logbook at the end of each shift to see roughly how many minutes of longitude I’d covered, and then figuring out a realistic target for the end of the day. But today it was so variable that it forced me into a more accepting way of being, not so goal-oriented. All I could do was carry on rowing, and the end result would be largely down to the weather. It would be what it would be.
This evening there were some other surprises – good ones. I spoke to the crew of the JUNK at 6pm Pacific Time to compare positions, and it looks likely that they will catch up with me tomorrow. The squalls have helped them along and they have been making good progress. So this evening I was quite a-flutter, getting ready for my first human contact since 26th May.
We are planning to exchange some goodies – they are short on food but OK for water, while I am short on water and have plenty of food. So I spent a while rummaging around in lockers to dig out some supplies for them – and turned up a few items I thought I’d run out of. It’s amazing how things can get lost on such a small boat. I found a solitary remaining MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) and ate it for my dinner – a real treat to have proper satisfying chunks of food rather than the little pieces of freeze-dried rubble.
I also found some more tamari sunflower seeds (I mix them in with beansprouts, tamari almonds, nama shoyu sauce and tahini to make a very good and nutritious lunch), and some dried apple slices – both very welcome additions to my larder.
I’ve got a generous stack of expedition meals and Larabars to give to the guys tomorrow. I thought about giving them some of my dehydrated flax crackers too, but I suspect that no matter how short on food they are, they may not share my more extreme wholefoodie tastes.
Position as at 2145 9th August Pacific Time, 0445 10th August UTC: 23 04.311’N, 145 36.282’W.
People are starting to ask for an ETA in Hawaii.. Well, what can I say? I don’t want to tempt fate. In my experience, anything involving boats always takes longer than expected.. But OK. Tentatively, based on my calculations of average mileages since I crossed 130 degrees west, I hope to arrive on or around 31st August, which would be Day 99. Will I make it? Only one way to find out – keep watching this blog!
Thanks for the messages and questions passed on to me by Leo in our podcast this morning. Thanks also for the other messages coming in via my website. Special mentions to: Tiny Little – a constant source of inspiration. Hope to see you when I am back in the UK in November. George and Tori – congrats on completing the bike ride. Hope you raised enough money for Dave’s hand bike fund – and that you’ve recovered from the saddle soreness! Diane (my cousin) – you crazy fell runner. Is it something in our genes? I thought I got it from Mum’s side, but I may have to reconsider! Good luck in the half marathon. And say hi to Paul from me – glad you two are having so much fun together! Anke Altermann – wow, you really ARE paying attention! The speakers are mounted underneath the side decks, one next to the “garden” (the seed sprouter) and the other in the “bathroom”. There are another two speakers in the cabin. Lesley Ewing – great to hear from you! I still wear the superb t-shirt you gave me – a constant reminder of why I do what I do.
Click here to view Day 77 of the Atlantic Crossing 15 February: Stealth Sedna – radar could not find her boat.