Fedor Konyukhov’s painting “The Red Albatross”. Oil on canvas. 2006.
Fedor on the Iridium satphone: “I survived another dark and long night. Thank God. The entire night was pitch black. Only once did I see a new moon, a delicate crescent peering through a small tear of dark and thick clouds. I was relieved to see the new moon: both new and full moons have a calming effect on the ocean. Here you celebrate the simple things like a new moon, a rainbow, a sunrise. The black nights are taking a toll on me. During the night hours there is nothing but blackness and only navigational devices cast their bleak lights on the deck. It can get scary at times. The Lord’s Prayer keeps me calm and steady. Last night I saw a ship, or rather its lights. I’m so thankful that I have AIS that shows a vessel and its direction.
Last night the wind kept me twisting and turning nonstop. At one point I got lost in the ever changing wind flows. By dawn it became easier to orient myself. Today I’ll try to make up the lost time and miles. There are 2500 miles until Brisbane, but I don’t even want to talk about the approximate dates of my arrival. In these latitudes the weather is so unpredictable and unstable. The first 4000 nautical miles flew by. In just 69 days from the start in Chile I entered the waters of the Marquesas Islands. After that, though, my progress had slow down drastically. From the Marquesas Islands until today’s coordinates I have covered 1450 nautical miles in 34 days. Basically, since the beginning of March, Tourgoyak’s speed has been cut in half. I’m not sure what the Pacific Ocean has in store for me, but the month of March was very difficult and I’m glad it’s over.
I’ve got enough food and propane to last until the finish line. The most important thing is to avoid any kind of natural disaster, such as a tropical storm. Jim Shekhdar had a hard time here too. His speed at times was even slower than mine. Before the start, I downloaded the data from his crossing. I know that it took him more than a month to row from the 180th longitude to the finish in Australia. We are talking about 1200 miles in 70 days. That’s why I don’t want to get ahead of myself talking about dates. I do, however, have a yacht club in mind. It’s Mooloolaba Marina in Queensland, about 100 km north of Brisbane. Its coordinates are 26' 41 S and 157' 07 E. This marina is my main focus, but of course there are other options if I won’t be able to keep the course to Mooloolaba. At the first opportunity I will head south to the 25th degree of the Southern Latitude. I’m with you. Fedor. ”
The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2
The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm
Translated by Tatiana Koreski