Fedor Konyukhov

My boat is my monk cell

Fedor reflects on his three months of the ocean rowing: “It’s been three months since I left Concon, Chile on December 22, 2013. It doesn’t feel like it’s been only three months. To me, the last 90 days were more like an eternity. It’s hard to imagine anymore that there is other life out there. The last three months were hard and trying but the rewards were immense. I’m experiencing the Pacific Ocean like never before. The small row boat and my close proximity to the surface of the ocean make this transpacific experience deeper and more personal than if I were on a sail boat.

With a little bit of dismay, I learned that my last post, where I talked about the shark, was blown out of proportion.  The shark has not been bothering me at all. This is her home and I am a passerby. I never said a word that the shark had attacked me or my boat.  I understand that mass media tends to exaggerate things in order to make ordinary sound like an extraordinary. In reality, though, I left for the ocean to seek solitude, to live as an ascetic for six months. The row boat is my monk cell. There is no internet, TV or radio on board. I call my office in Moscow once a day, to share my daily news and to discuss the weather forecast. To live on a row boat while crossing the largest ocean in the world is like living on the edge. The risks are enormous. The storms, high seas, hazard of being thrown out onto the reefs or getting an injury, or worse, getting swept of the deck. These are the uncertainties you face daily, but they are a part of the deal and there is no need to get fixated on them. A solo rowing across the ocean is not a reality show.  If it wasn’t for my loved ones on land I would gladly turn off the communication line and the yellow brick in order to get “lost” for 6-7 months.”