Day 98

30 March 2014

Fedor’s phone call via the Iridium satphone: “Last night was a plight. The weather forecast didn’t prove to be true. By sunset, the wind became southerly and rose to 25 knots, with gusts of up to 30 knots. Within an hour the surface of the ocean bulged: the old swells from the north met with the newly formed wind waves from the south. Together they buffeted and pressed the boat. In addition, the heavy rain was so strong that I was afraid it would break Tourgoyak into pieces. It was impossible to row in such conditions. I secured the oars and tucked myself into the cabin where it was as loud as if I was in a washing machine. I sat there watching the monitor that showed my boat going north, into the latitudes that I worked so hard to leave just a day ago. It’s hard to watch my hard work being canceled out by weather. The southerly wind persisted through the night until dawn (22:00 Moscow time), when it finally subsided and turned easterly. I’m slowly getting back on track, and it feels like deja vu to be rowing in the same latitude that I was in just yesterday.

Last night was another example on just how much an ocean row boat depends on the wind and its direction. For a row boat the favorable wind angles are anywhere from 180 to 90 degrees, or otherwise known in the sailing world as run, broad reach, beam reach. From 90 degrees towards the bow of a boat is a no-go zone and if the head wind reaches beyond 12 knots, it becomes impossible to row. The only option is to wait for the wind to go back. 

I do have good news too. I crossed the 160th degree of the Western Longitude and was able to stay here despite the events of last night. There are 20 degrees or 1200 miles before I leave the Western Hemisphere and enter the Eastern Hemisphere.  I’m with you. Fedor.”

The map of the Tourgoyak’s course:

The detailed map of the course:

Translated by Tatiana Koreski

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