Fedor Konyukhov via the satphone: “Friday morning started as usual, with a phone call to my office in Moscow and a cup of hot coffee. After the call, I sat down at the oars for the rest of the day. I need to pass the Aitutaki island by the end of the day. It’s about 31 miles away. The plan is pass the island at starboard. The wind is difficult and unpredictable. It blows mostly from the east, but all of a sudden it turns from the north or south. It’s hard to predict its behavior and, therefore, it’s a challenge to calculate how to approach and pass the island. It seems just like yesterday I left French Polynesia, but now I’m in the midst of the Cook Islands.
A school of tropical fish looking like grey triggerfish is busily working at the hull of the boat. They are eating away the small shells that Tourgoyak has been growing for quite some time now. I’m thankful for these tiny cleaners.
With each day it gets cooler. As I descend more south, the air gets fresher. I’m glad for this change in temperature for it was a complete sauna in my aft cabin for the last 30 days. The temperature inside would raise to 47 C°, so needless to say I’m welcoming cooler conditions.
There are 2,700 nautical miles until the finish line in Australia if I keep rowing in a straight line, which is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, this distance is a familiar to me since my cross-Atlantic rowing in 2002. That time it took me 46 days and 4 hours to row from La Gomera to Barbados on the “URALAZ” row boat. So the 2700 nautical miles are very much comprehensible, only this time I’m rowing the Pacific, which proves to be a much more challenging ocean. During the last month it’s been a lot of work to row past all of the islands and atolls of the Oceania. In the meantime, Summer is coming to an end and Fall is approaching, which will probably bring some storms my way. With God’s help and hard work I am hoping to complete the final third of my crossing successfully. I’m with you. Fedor."
On photo: Fedor’s approaching Barbados in 2002 on “URALAZ”.
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