Looking at the recent comments on my blogs, I will say that it was nice to be missed. And I’d like to tell a story of missing something much bigger than me – Australia.
On July 12 last year, while I was enjoying a launch event at San Francisco’s Presidio Yacht Club, a solo male ocean rower was departing the California coast. At his third attempt, Erden Eruc finally managed to break contact with land and row out into the Pacific. He was planning to row nonstop to Australia.
Nine months later, the equatorial currents have had their wicked way with him, and he has missed Australia – not, I should stress, due to any lack of navigational ability. He knew exactly where he wanted to go. But the currents had other ideas.
After bobbling around in the ITCZ for what seems like an eternity, Erden is currently about 1000 miles north of his originally intended landfall, having failed to get south of the Equator. He is now hoping to reach the Philippines.
Selfishly, I was grateful last year that Erden had demonstrated the difficulty of getting away safely from the California coast, the most dangerous part of the crossing. And now I can’t help but appreciate him showing how hard it can be to get to where you want to go when your chosen means of transport is an ocean rowboat.
I do hope that at last the ocean gods will smile on him, and allow him to safely reach dry land.
[photo: me with Erden and his boat in front of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge last summer]