"The conditions in the ocean are changing every day as I move closer and closer to French Polynesia. Today I saw birds and yesterday dolphins came close to my boat, but didn’t stick around for too long. I guess my rowing is too slow and they quickly got bored. Last night the winds turned sharply north. Not just north-east, but straight from the north. Immediately the boat was pushed south. I was caught off guard and clearly wasn’t ready for such a turn of events. Luckily, the north wind lasted only a couple of hours, but it was enough of a wakeup call for me to realize that I need to climb more north towards the equator. That way I will have enough latitude in case the wind decides to turn north on me. In the next few days I’ll try to cross the 10th degree of the Southern Latitude. I will stay at the 9° and 10° of South Latitude as I row my way into the Oceania. I still have 500 miles until the islands and I must keep my course westward. Today Tourgoyak and I will be crossing the 130°of the Western Longitude which means we are officially entering the waters of French Polynesia. I’ve already switched the weather maps and now will be following the “Oceania” weather data. The half-way point is at 140° of Western Longitude: 10 degrees or 600 more miles of rowing. It will be great to reach the way point by the beginning of Great Lent which falls on March 3rd this year.
I am praying to Saint Nicholas to protect me on the ocean and help me to avoid tropical cyclones. The most dangerous thing for me and my ocean row boat would be meeting a tropical cyclone. There is a lot of danger to watch for as you ocean row alone. Amongst such dangers is the risk of being thrown out onto the reefs or atolls; getting caught under a ship’s propeller at night when the vessel is on autopilot; sustaining a serious injury on your own boat, etc. These risks are great and could be deadly, but I can risk-manage them by being in control of my boat and myself and staying alert of what’s happening around me. But how does one prevent an encounter with a tropical storm or cyclone? It’s beyond human ability when your means of transportation is an ocean row boat. The storm season in the Oceania lasts from November to April and getting caught in one of them is the number one risk for me. So far, after 58 days on the Pacific Ocean I’m safe and sound. God’s been watching over me and my boat, and I pray that He will continue to do so.
After 58 days of 24/7 swinging on the waves it’s hard to picture that there is another reality somewhere out there. If it wasn’t for my satellite phone, life would be completely eremitic. I’m with you. Fedor".
Tropical Cyclone Statistics of 2013-2014 is here.
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