Fedor Konyukhov

Day 75

“The weather is improving. The wind turned east once again. My situation is looking up now. The weather reports say that the easterly wind will continue until March 12th. This should be enough time to round most of the islands of Tuamotus Archipelago. My next way point is Motu One (also known as Bellinghausen) atoll, which is located at 15° 49' S and 154° 30' W. At this point, the island is still 620 miles away from me. After that I will keep my course trying to pass between Aitutaki atoll and Palmerston island (Cook’s Islands). That’s my plan of action for the month of March.

There are 3600 miles until Brisbane, but of course that number is only true when you row in a straight line. My route will be closer to 4000 miles due to the ever changing weather and wind.  For the second half of my expedition my average speed will be around 40 nautical miles in 24 hours.  Optimistically speaking, I have 100 days until the finish line. Last night I took an inventory of my food supplies as well as propane canisters for cooking. I have enough food to last me 140 days if I consume a hot meal twice a day. The number of propane canisters is 30. I usually use one canister a week. I have plenty of gas to cook. Before the start of the expedition I was planning on catching fish for making soups or frying up some sea delicacies.  But for the last 75 days I’ve had to be satisfied with the deconstructed dried freeze packaged food.  I do, however, enjoy a cup of coffee and hot chocolate a few times a day.

So my fishing hasn’t been successful at all on this voyage. Last night, though, something big and dark rose from underneath the ocean depth. It was most likely attracted by my fluorescent fishing line. This deep sea creature was about one meter long, with a black snake-like body. What impressed me the most was the long and crooked teeth. Once its belly was sliced open out rolled 10 small calamari. Evidently, this kind of fish lives deep in the ocean and raises up to the surface to feed on calamari. I would rather eat a tuna fish or dorado, but the ocean decided to treat me with one its lesser known specialties.

I’m constantly checking the weather prognosis. Tourgoyak and I are entering the zone where the tropical storms and cyclones are predominant. They move from north-east to south-east. Their course would definitely cross my route. There is a storm brewing 1000 miles away from me. It’s expected to hit New Zeeland by March 13th. The question of the day: Will I be able to sneak past the storms that are so common in the area? My answer is my prayer to the Lord to keep me safe.”

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