The ocean is like a sensory deprivation tank tonight – utterly dark and silent. There isn’t a breath of wind, and the overcast sky is hiding all but the few brightest stars.
It’s been a funny old day. It got off to a slow start. You might have noticed there was a significant delay between my last blog and its photograph being united online. The reason was that immediately after I emailed the blog last night I lost the ability to make data calls from my satphone, so the email bearing the photo could not be sent.
I tried again first thing this morning, again to no avail. So I spent a while on the phone to Rob at Remote Satellite Systems International trying to identify the source of the problem. He thought it was probably the network rather than a problem with my onboard equipment. I’m not sure if this proved to be the case – I know he was working with the network people, and it seems to be working okay tonight – so I’ll just be grateful that we’re in business again. For a while there I was worried that we might be blog-less for the rest of the trip!
So with the technical hassles, and a call to base, it was pushing 10.30am by the time I got to the oars. For most of the morning the wind was coming out of the south, at about 20 knots, so the best course I could make was west. But during the afternoon the weather has become progressively more and more subdued, and the wind more and more flukey.
As the afternoon wore on a deep hush fell over the ocean, at one stage broken by the gentle exhaling sound of dolphins arcing through the waves. I saw about a dozen dolphins, but they didn’t come close.
Occasionally the wind would muster a bit of enthusiasm and lift my red ensign flag for a minute or two, before lapsing back into calm. The sky was overcast but far from a flat grey – clouds of all textures, shapes and patterns created a varied skyscape, and probably accounted for the weird, lumpy and uneven breezes.
I can’t help but absorb the mood of the ocean, so tonight I’m feeling a bit subdued myself, and tired after a long day rowing. So I’m going to call it a night. I’m off to my bunk to dream of friends, food and family. And nice brisk, invigorating easterly winds… Bring ’em on!
Position at 2300 HST: 01 30.255N, 178 57.656W Wind: 0-20kts, S-SSE Seas: 2-4ft swell, SE Weather: some big black rainclouds this morning, after that as described above.
No update to last weather forecast from weatherguy.com.