In the third of my reviews of Stage 2 of the Pacific row, I look at the dramas, frustrations and triumphs of life on the ocean wave. Some you win, some you lose, but at least it stops life being boring….
Fortunately no major dramas this time around – no doubt to Texino’s disappointment. No broken oars, no capsizes, no airlifts, no Hunks on the Junk, and alas no Johnny Depp. The ongoing Tuvalu-Tarawa dilemma was probably the major stress-inducer of the voyage. But there were a few other heart-stopping moments, such as:
– On my first full day, trying to run the watermaker, and nothing happened. Wondered if this was going to be the shortest ocean row ever. After calming down and analysing the problem, I discovered that the intake hose had not been connected. Easily fixed.
– Watermaker stopped working altogether as I approached the 3-month mark. But fortunately I had enough water reserves to see me through.
– Discovery that the coordinates I had for Tuvalu were incorrect – so the chances of making it there were remote. Tarawa suddenly promoted to destination of choice.
– Satphone data connection working worse and worse, and then not at all for the last week
– Lazarus the Stereo being rather temperamental, sometimes with pauses of up to 15 minutes while he turned himself off and on repeatedly
– Boobies, boobies, boobies. And all their noxious emissions – both vocal and, errr, well, from the other end. But the trip would not have been the same without them, and it was brought home to me when they deserted me that I had become strangely fond of my smelly boatmates.
– For once, I managed not to lose my sea anchor. No hassles at all, in fact. The new cam cleats we fitted for the tripline worked a treat. Definitely a keeper.
– Sarong used as a side extension to the bimini – reduced the temperature of my rowing position by several degrees, protected me from sunburn, and stopped the bimini from flapping in high winds. And on the rare occasions when conditions were calm enough for the deck to stay dry, the resulting shady haven on the deck was a perfect spot for a mid-afternoon siesta, with a delicious cooling breeze wafting over my bare skin. Heaven!