Another hasty blog, while I wait for the heat to go out of the day before starting my night’s rowing…
Today has not been an easy day. Poor old Ricardo, my weather guru, has been taking an e-bashing while I berate him via text for contrary winds and adverse currents. It is the unhappy lot of the weatherman to take the rap for the weather that he predicts – as if he had personally selected and inflicted the frustrating conditions on me.
I would normally be a bit more reasonable, but I today was tired and cranky. On the ocean I like to get into a routine and stick to it, but as I near the final stages that is not going to be an option. I will have to seize opportunities when they arise. I was rowing until 2am last night to make the most of the cooler conditions and calmer winds after dark. By the time I’d bathed and put the boat to bed, there was time for just 4 hours of sleep before getting up at 6.30 to start rowing again – and those precious few hours were disturbed by the new booby-in-residence tap-dancing on the roof of my cabin every time a swell came along. This booby is quieter and less belligerent than his predecessors (although just as poopy), but has taken up a regular position on the sleeping cabin rather than the storage cabin, so it gets a bit annoying when he patters around to regain his balance when the boat lurches.
So today I’ve been a bit discombobulated, my mood not improved by rowing just to stand still. If I was making 40 or 50 miles a day I could row till the cows come home (or should that be till the boobies roost?), but rowing many hours a day to make 15, or even 5, miles, is psychologically challenging, to put it mildly.
The other drawback with less sleep is that there is less recovery time for my poor body. In these sweltering conditions there is a significant risk of the return of the baboon-bottom rash that plagued the early stages of this row. I have two seat covers, which I usually rotate and rinse at the end of each shift. But now I am rotating them as soon as the spare one is dry, to try and avoid this very painful affliction.
So I plod on, trying to remind myself of all the good reasons to go to Tuvalu, and not to think about Tarawa, just 440 miles away straight downwind… I’ll keep the faith, and I really do believe it is all going to work out in the end – and then this difficult stage will be just a memory, and it will all have been worth the effort.
Postscript: I was psyched up and ready to row most of the night. I’d had an extra-big dinner followed by a Jocolat (chocolatey organic Larabar) and a rocking soundtrack ready on my iPod. But ze weather, once again she spit on my plans (to be said in French accent). The wind rose – and from the wrong direction. So the sea anchor is out. I’m all caloried up, and no place to go. Boo.
[photo: the new booby-in-residence]
Thank you to the Good Vibes Team and all the others who have sent such wonderful words of encouragement. Thanks especially for the reminders to stay present in the moment and not worry about the future. Very wise words. Too easily forgotten – so keep reminding me, because it is SO true. And the one part of this situation that I have control over(ish!) is my mind.
Apology: Although I mentioned them both in the same blog, I did not intend to imply any connection between my having the incorrect coordinates for Tuvalu and the transition to a new weatherman. So, in case there was any misunderstanding, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Rick Shema of weatherguy.com. I’d also like to thank him deeply for his professionalism and accuracy in guiding me through the first stage of my Pacific row, and thus far in the second. Thanks also to Rick and his family for all the kindness and hospitality they have shown to my mother and me during our time in Hawaii. I wish Rick all the very best for the future.
Position at 2220 HST: 0028.678S, 178 56.319E
Wind: for most of the day 10kts SE-SSE, now 18kts SE
Seas: 2-4ft swell SE
Weather: hot and sunny, scattered cumulus and some cirrus cloud
YOU WILL HAVE GOOD PROGRESS AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THE PRESENT WIND BACKING, ALL THE WAY INTO MONDAY AT LEAST. WED WONT BE VERY GOOD AT ALL. YOU MAY WISH TO TRY THE DROGUE AND SEE HOW THAT GOES. WHEN FACED WITH 13KN FROM SE GO FOR SPEED
IF YOU CAN MAKE UP TO 210 BUT SLOW DOWN IF YOU ARE PUSHED TO MORE THAN THAT.
THU WILL BE DUE EAST MOST OF THE DAY 14KN AVG GRADUALLY DROPPING AND BACKING TO WHAT WILL BE A SUPER START TO THE WEEKEND. WIND WILL DROP TO ALMOST NOTHING ON SATURDAY AND WILL CONTINUE VERY LIGHT THROUGHOUT SUNDAY, WITH A
TENDENCY TO PICK UP FROM ABOUT 160. THIS WILL QUICKLY SHIFT TO 090 BY MONDAY AT LESS THAN 6KN. SHOULD THESE CONDITIONS MATERIALIZE AS IT SEEMS, YOU HAVE HERE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WEATHER WINDOWS FROM NOW TO TUVALU AND YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT YOUR ALL TO GAIN PRECIOUS METRES IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
EAT UP. POWER UP AND SHOW ME THOSE MUSCLES!